Arun Sudhaman 17 Jan 2023 // 2:28PM GMT
DAVOS — Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hás acknowledged that advances in generative artificial intelligence (AI) carry significant risks, even as the company's ChatGPT bot becomes increasingly popular with the business world attending the World Economic Forum in Davos this week.
Speaking to WSJ editor Matt Murray, Nadella described ChatGPT's "exponential progress" as a unique accomplishment, pointing to its usage by rural communities in India to help navigate government bureaucracy.
"I've never seen in my life a demo where an advance that happens in the West Coast of the US shows up in very real terms for someone in rural India within months," said Nadella. "That is diffusion of technology that I've never seen."
But Nadella admitted that the pace of change when it comes to AI is "unforgiving", particularly for technology companies. "The means of production change dramatically and that requires us to unlearn and learn, which is always very unforgiving. The previous era AI expert is the one that will have the hardest time shifting to this new paradigm."
And he noted that concerns about knowledge workers being displaced are real. "The idea that every country needs to have social cohesion based on jobs is much better understood today than in the first phase of globalisation."
Even so, Nadella thinks that technological advances in AI can help solve problems rather than adding to them. "When I look at productivity data, we need something to help us. We need something that truly changes the productivity curve so we can have real economic growth."
"The best way to prepare it is to not bet against this technology," added Nadella, noting that "doing more with less is perhaps more at a premium" because of current economic headwinds. "Let's create that economic surplus and then talk about how to distribute it."