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- Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella spoke on the future of AI in the workplace in Davos this week.
- His remarks come as the company began its first wave of layoffs, expected to total 10,000 employees.
- Increased availability of Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service follows AI integration within the company’s own products like Excel and Bing.
Microsoft is betting big on artificial intelligence by integrating the technology into workplace emails, slideshows, and spreadsheets — part of its ongoing partnership with OpenAI, the company behind the popular chatbot ChatGPT.
The tech giant announced earlier this week it opened access to its Azure OpenAI Service, which uses Microsoft cloud computing technology to allow companies to use AI tools like ChatGPT, according to a company press release.
“With Azure OpenAI Service now generally available, more businesses can apply for access to the most advanced AI models in the world,” the announcement states.
The launch of Azure OpenAI Service follows Microsoft’s integration of OpenAI technology into its own products like Excel, PowerPoint and Bing, the Washington Post reported, and continues a broad trend in big tech embracing the current generation of AI technology.
It also comes following reports the company had been in talks to invest $10 billion in OpenAI at the end of 2022, after first investing $1 billion in the company in 2019.
Speaking at a Wall Street Journal panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland earlier this week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company plans to soon broadly commercialize AI tools across its products.
“Every product of Microsoft will have some of the same AI capabilities to completely transform the product,” Nadella said, per the Journal.
Nadella went on to say that workers should embrace new AI tools instead of fearing them, the Journal reported.
“The best way to prepare for it is not to bet against this technology, and this technology helping you in your job and your business process,” he said.
But as Microsoft leans into AI for its products and new services, recent widespread layoffs at the company have affected teams working to integrate ChatGPT.
A first wave of about 1,000 layoffs at the company this week included members of the internal team responsible for integrating ChatGPT technology into Bing, Insider reported this week. The company plans to lay off a total of 10,000 workers by March.
Still, Nadella predicted the current generation of AI will cause a major shift in the industry, the Washington Post reported. At the Wall Street Journal panel Tuesday, he said AI tools will increase human productivity, in turn bolstering economic growth and wages.
“We need something that truly changes the productivity curve so we can have real economic growth,” he said during the panel.