It’s been a hectic 48 hours for Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, juggling between the India-Australia World Cup final and the ongoing OpenAI soap opera. Microsoft seems to have come out of the Sam Altman-OpenAI episode with more feathers in its cap, but the story is far from over.
However, we have finally got Nadella to speak publicly about the saga and whether he would try to buy Australia now that they have won the Cricket World Cup for the sixth time. The Microsoft chief spoke on Tuesday in a podcast where he shares his equation with Altman, which goes beyond his time at OpenAI.
We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI and have confidence in our product roadmap, our ability to continue to innovate with everything we announced at Microsoft Ignite, and in continuing to support our customers and partners. We look forward to getting to know Emmett…— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) November 20, 2023
Nadella says he always wanted to work with Sam, Greg and his team, and not get caught. “We have the compute, the data, everything we need to take AI to the next level, which gives us significant rights to OpenAI,” Nadella explained in the episode with celebrity journalist Kara Swisher. “It is a joint project between Microsoft and OpenAI. We are self-sufficient in all of this. There are risks in that kind of turnover,” Nadella said, referring to OpenAI’s decision to fire Altman, which has not gone down well with hundreds of OpenAI employees.
He also spoke about the need to control the situation and focus exclusively on the development of advanced artificial intelligence systems. Nadella explains that Microsoft did this with Altman at OpenAI on Friday, now Altman is working with them at the same company. “My message for the weekend is that we tried to build great products around AI security, and we need people to do that. I’m not on the board, so I told them not to compromise the mission of the organization we’ve invested in and the people we’ve invested in.
Next, Nadella was asked about the equation with Altman and how it has evolved. “I have known Sam for a very long time and worked closely for the last 4-5 years. His ability to bring teams together. He will be able to continue to push advanced AI work with Greg and his team,” he emphasized. “They work at Microsoft in the same role and continue to build it,” Nadella confirms.
Ever since the news broke about Altman joining Microsoft’s new AI research team, people have been praising Nadella for getting AI Whiz for free, but he doesn’t think that’s true. “We are not trying to get anything for free, as many say and overestimate. Nothing has changed since Friday, when I was more productive than the weekend,” he mentioned in the podcast.
Nadella also confirmed that his company will not be in a deadlock like this weekend. “We never want to be in a situation where we surprise like this again.”
Also, he was asked if he sees Sam as someone who could replace Nadella as CEO of Microsoft? He laughed at the question, saying, “It’s wonderful that we have a lot of capable people who can run Microsoft.”
And finally, will Nadella try to buy Australia (After winning the 2023 World Championship). He laughed again and said: “(Buying Australia) is like buying OpenAI, none of it will work, but we can work with OpenAI and enjoy the Aussies playing cricket.”