Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has expressed his hopes for an AI-powered future in personal and professional life for users everywhere.
Speaking in London, Nadella outlined how AI technology, primarily Microsoft’s own Copilot and Open AI-powered tools, can usher in a new era for both consumers and businesses.
Nadella also revealed exactly what AI tools he uses in his personal life, and how AI could transform the lives of individuals in the future, in hopes of improving access to knowledge and healthcare around the world.
“Something has clearly changed in the last year,” Nadella told Microsoft UK CEO Clare Barclay in his keynote at the Envision London event. “Our understanding of this next generation of AI and what it can do with virtually any software category, industry or business process has, I think, undergone a real transformation.”
“The idea that you can have a multi-turn, multi-domain, multi-modal conversation with your computer may be the biggest change in computing.”
“The era of LLMs (Large Language Models) is the greatest leveler when it comes to improving the learning curve,” Nadella said, highlighting Security Copilot as a particularly useful tool. “We have a shortage of security professionals and we need people who become professionals to fill these gaps. On the job, with Security Copilot, your learning curve is curved – and that’s exciting.”
He compared the advent of generative AI technology to Microsoft’s initial launch of Windows in the early 1990s and predicted it could have a similarly seismic impact.
“It reminds me of the Microsoft I joined in ’92,” he recalls. “The reason I say that is because the PC – and Windows in particular – was transformative in the workplace and in workflow. We all remember what work was like before email, word processing and spreadsheets, and what happened after… At least I do!”
After Windows, Nadella also highlighted the role of cloud computing in enabling these massive technological breakthroughs, with Microsoft Azure understandably playing a key role.
“The cloud helps make this possible,” he added. “Data is also already in the cloud. Therefore, AI adoption is just the next step, and it has even more implications. But we also have to take into account that the spread is so fast that I don’t think there will be a distinction.”
In his personal outreach, Nadella revealed that he was a regular user of GitHub Copilot to brush up on his coding skills, noting “how can you be a tech CEO if you can’t code?” But he also revealed that he was a big fan of the Copilot tools in Microsoft 365, which he used to condense long documents or meeting notes into a single, understandable document that he could in turn ask questions about.
“I can actually become very productive,” Nadella laughed, “Right now I wouldn’t know what to do if someone took my 365 Copilot!”
AI running your life?
Looking ahead, Nadella was understandably positive about the benefits AI technology could bring to users from all walks of life – not just in the business world.
“I’m glad we’re all talking about both the possibilities and opportunities of applying this technology to generate broad societal benefits, while also being aware of the unintended consequences,” he noted.
“I think whether it’s financial services, retail or even healthcare, it’s really exciting to see the wide range of industries being reshaped,” Nadella added, before expressing his hopes for how AI could transform the lives of everyone on earth.
“The eight billion people on this planet could have in their pocket a personal tutor, a doctor who can give you more or less medical advice, and even a management consultant… telling you how best to live your life! ” said Nadella.
“If you take these three things, think about what it could do to an individual’s freedom of choice. Many of us are afraid to venture into new areas because it requires a lot of initiative, preparation and learning. But when you have something like Copilot to help you – an assistant to guide you every step of the way – it’s a game changer. I think that’s the most exciting thing psychologically.”
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