Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

All to artificial intelligence. Microsoft’s current bet does not contemplate any other scenario than overtaking all its rivals (read the other hyperscalars, mainly Google and AWS) and doing it as quickly as possible. Actually, Microsoft had already been working on AI developments for several years, but two moments define the reality of the multinational regarding fashionable technology: the first, the signing of the agreement signed with OpenAI back in 2019, to expand the capabilities of Azure in large-scale AI systems and the second, the explosive irruption of ChatGPT, the generative AI developed by OpenAI, at the end of last year and which led both companies to expand their collaboration agreement and Microsoft to invest more than 10,000 million at the AI ​​firm. Microsoft has a lot to thank Satya Nadella, who was responsible for turning the multinational back into the technology giant it was in the 1990s. It was he who saw that the future passed through the cloud and led the company to be a cloud giant and he was also the person who envisioned that the next revolution was going to be Artificial Intelligence. The next step will be the commitment to quantum computing, but no one doubts that the Redmond Giant will also be well positioned there. We will leave this part for the not so distant future. The agreement with OpenAI has borne such good fruit that all the power of the company’s marketing and innovation is directed towards Artificial Intelligence. An artificial intelligence that will be fully embedded in the multinational’s cloud and practically in any service or application it provides. In this way it is not necessary to even mention the benefits of Azure. Why if both Google and AWS have not been able to make the qualitative leap that Microsoft has made in the field of AI? Microsoft can offer its customers the largest AI supercomputer right now. Its rivals don’t. The benefit for Microsoft is twofold since OpenAI runs under Azure. That is, it is the exclusive provider of OpenAI products and programming interfaces. All somewhat in favor if one takes into account that all organizations show signs of integrating generative artificial intelligence solutions at full speed. And that means more workloads for Microsoft’s cloud servers and, incidentally, more recurring revenue.

Microsoft can offer its customers the largest AI supercomputer right now. His rivals, no.

The reality is that Microsoft stepped on the accelerator with the first agreement signed with OpenAI. Since then he has been improving all his products. For example, its portfolio of APIs for natural language processing, machine vision, and speech recognition, Azure Cognitive Services, has been enhanced by OpenAI’s artificial intelligence models. It has also integrated ChatGPT into its language understanding service, allowing developers to easily add natural language understanding capabilities to their applications. And of course, it has incorporated the AI ​​from OpenAI into the Xbox console to enhance the gaming experience. These are just a few examples, but the improvements reach robotics, Microsoft 365 and the endless number of company solutions.

Microsoft AI & Innovation Summit

Proof of the confidence that managers have in the commitment to AI was the event held yesterday in Madrid, Microsoft AI & Innovation Summit, where they presented the roadmap that the company plans to implement in the short term. All this, and to strengthen the message, with the participation of the top managers of CaixaBank, Gonzalo Gortázar; Ferrovial, Ignacio Madridejos; LALIGA, Javier Tebas; Repsol, Luis Cabra; SEGITTUR, Enrique Martínez and Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete. All of them already have use cases with the AI ​​of OpenAI and Microsoft. The presence of a good part of the national business cast at the event only shows the potential that AI will have in the short term. Yes, in the short, not in the middle or long. And it is that as Alberto Granados, President of Microsoft Spain explained during a meeting with the specialized press, “for example, while the Internet reached 100 million users after seven years or Facebook overcame that barrier after three years and average, ChatGPT did it in just three months.” Granados is very clear about it: artificial intelligence is going to multiply world GDP by 20, making it one of the greatest revolutions in the History of Humanity. However, the doubts surrounding Artificial Intelligence cannot be denied. Fundamentally two: elimination of jobs and data protection. The President of the company in our country referred to both. The manager considers that, evidently, AI is going to impact the labor market. Especially in those positions of more value. And it will do so for the better, since according to him he stated “a good part of the work that these workers do is consumed in meetings or reading emails. All of this takes time away from creative work, which is what really matters to the organization. Generative artificial intelligence will not only help to waste less time on those more tedious tasks, but will also help workers in their creative function”. This is where the new concept that Microsoft has invented comes in: the co-pilot. Let’s say it is a “full-time” assistant that, for example, provides Microsoft 365 or Dynamics users to work with natural language to help them make better decisions as long as they are based on the observability of the data. “By applying observability and with the help of the co-pilot, companies will reduce the time they need to make a decision, which will result in improved productivity and they will be able to work better in an increasingly competitive environment”, Granados stated. Regarding the protection of data and the security offered by tools such as ChatGPT, Granados was also clear: “It is necessary to carry out a regulation of Artificial Intelligence, in the same way that the coffee we drink in the morning is regulated and complies with a series of regulations and guarantees”. regulate AI; let me provide some clues as to how this regulation should be”. And that’s what Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, came to do on his European tour last week. “Help” the European authorities to legislate correctly. In this sense, Microsoft’s thinking about this regulation goes through five points that Smith made clear last week: 1.- Implement and develop new AI security frameworks, based on the work carried out by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other organizations around the world. 2.- Establish specific security measures for AI systems that control critical infrastructures, as part of of a comprehensive approach, which includes effective human supervision, resilience and solidity. 3.- Develop a broad legal framework for the technological architecture of Artificial Intelligence, assigning specific regulatory responsibilities to each of the actors, based on their role in the management of the different aspects of AI technology.4.- Promote transparency and guarantee academic and public access to AI.5.- Seek new collaborations and public-private alliances to address the challenges of the use of AI, such as the protection of fundamental rights, inclusive access to training in this technology, and the application of AI to improve the sustainability of the planet. Microsoft is also clear that, especially around ChatGPT, there is controversy regarding what to data protection is concerned. For this reason, Alberto Granados repeatedly insisted that, despite the fact that there is an agreement between the two companies, “we are two different entities, and as far as Microsoft is concerned, user data only belongs to themselves. We do not use them nor do we use them to train Artificial Intelligence models”. Not even if the user is using ChatGPT… as long as it is, yes, within Azure. If it is from the external application of OpenAI itself, the president of Microsoft in Spain recommended not to do it.

By Alvaro Rivers

Award-winning student. Incurable social media fanatic. Music scholar. Beer maven. Writer.