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Power of AI With Cloud Computing is “Stunning” to Microsoft’s Nadella 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated on the AI and the Future of Work Conference from MIT that the power of cloud computing to harness huge computing energy is ‘transformative.’ (Photo by Mohammad Rezaie on Unsplash.)

By AI Trends Staff  

Asked what within the march of expertise he is most impressed with, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated at MIT’s AI and the Work of the Future Congress 2020 held nearly final week that he is struck by the power of cloud computing to provision huge computing energy.   

Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

“The computing available to do AI is transformative,” Nadella stated to David Autor, the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT, who performed the Fireside Chat session.   

Nadella talked about the GPT-3 common goal language mannequin from OpenAI, an AI lab looking for a industrial enterprise mannequin. GPT-3 is an autoregressive language mannequin with 175 billion parameters. OpenAI agreed to license GPT-3 to Microsoft for their very own services and products, whereas persevering with to provide OpenAI’s API to the market. Today the API is in a restricted beta as OpenAI and educational companions check and assess its capabilities.  

The Microsoft license is unique nonetheless, which means Microsoft’s cloud computing rivals can’t entry it in the identical manner. The settlement was seen as essential to serving to OpenAI with the expense of getting GPT-3 up and operating and sustaining it, in accordance to an account in TechTalks. These embrace an estimated $10 million in bills to analysis GPT-3 and prepare the mannequin, tens of 1000’s of {dollars} in month-to-month cloud computing and electrical energy prices to run the fashions, an estimated a million {dollars} yearly to retrain the mannequin to stop decay, and extra prices of buyer help, advertising and marketing, IT, authorized and different necessities to put a software program product in the marketplace.  

Earlier this 12 months at its Build builders convention, Microsoft introduced it labored with OpenAI to assemble what Microsoft stated was “one of the top five publicly disclosed supercomputers in the world,” in accordance to an account on the Microsoft AI weblog. The infrastructure might be out there in Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing providing, to prepare “extremely large” AI fashions.   

The partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI goals to “jointly create new supercomputing technologies in Azure,” the weblog submit said.  

And it’s not just happening in the cloud, it’s happening on the edge,” Nadella stated.  

Applications for cloud and edge computing working collectively—reminiscent of pure language era, picture completion, or digital simulations from wearable sensors that see the work—are very compute-intensive. “It’s stunning to see the capability,” of the GPT-3 mannequin utilized to this work, Nadella stated. “Something in the model architecture gives me confidence we will have more breakthroughs at an accelerating pace,” he stated.  

Potential Strategic Advantage in Search, Voice Assistants from GPT-3 Models  

Strategically, it could possibly be that the GPT-3 fashions will give Microsoft an actual benefit, the article in TechTalks urged. For instance within the search engine market, Microsoft’s Bing has simply over a 6% market share, behind Google’s 87%. Whether GPT-3 will allow Microsoft to roll out new options that redefine how search is used stays to be seen.   

Microsoft is additionally seemingly to discover potential benefits GPT-3 might deliver to the voice assistant market, the place Microsoft’s Cortana sees a 22% share, behind Apple’s Siri, which has 35%.  

Nadella does have considerations associated to the facility of AI and automation. “We need a set of design principles, from ethics to actual engineering and design and a process to allow us to be accountable, so the models are fair and not biased. We need to ‘de-bias’ the models and that is hard engineering work,” he stated. “Unintended consequences” and “bad use cases” are additionally challenges, he stated, with out elaborating. [Ed. Note: A ‘misuse case” or bad use case describes a function the system should not allow, from Wikipedia.]  

Moderator Autor requested Nadella how Microsoft makes choices on what issues to work on utilizing AI. Nadella talked about “real world small AI” and the corporate’s Power Platform instruments, which allows a number of merchandise to work properly collectively as half of a enterprise utility platform. This basis is constructed on what had been referred to as the Common Data Service for apps, and as of this month (November), is referred to as “Dataverse.” Data is saved in tables which may reside on the cloud. 

Using the instruments, “People can take their domain expertise and turn it into automation using AI capabilities,” Nadella stated. 

Asked what new job alternatives are being created from the use of AI he anticipates sooner or later, Nadella in contrast the transition happening at the moment to the onset of laptop spreadsheets and phrase processors. “The same thing is happening today,” as computing is getting embedded in manufacturing crops, retail settings, hospitals, and farms. “This will shape new jobs and change existing jobs,” he stated. 

‘Democratization of AI’ Seen as Having Potential to Lower Barriers  

The two mentioned whether or not the alternatives from AI lengthen to these employees with out summary expertise like programming. Discussion ensued on “democratization of AI” which lowers obstacles for people and organizations to acquire expertise with AI, permitting them, for instance, to leverage publicly out there knowledge and algorithms to construct AI fashions on a cloud infrastructure. 

Relating it to training, Autor questioned if entry to training could possibly be “democratized” extra. Nadella stated, “STEM is important, but we don’t need everyone to get a master’s in computer science. If you can democratize the expertise to help the productivity of the front line worker, that is the problem to solve.” 

Autor requested if expertise has something to do with the rising hole between low-wage and high-wage employees, and what could possibly be completed about it. Nadella stated Microsoft is dedicated to making training that leads to credentials out there. “We need a real-time feedback loop between the jobs of the future and the skills required,” Nadella stated. “To credential those skills, we are seeing more companies invest in corporate training as part of their daily workflow. Microsoft is super focused on that.” 


A tax credit score for companies that spend money on coaching could be a good suggestion, Nadella urged. “We need an incentive mechanism,” he stated, including {that a} suggestions loop would assist coaching packages to achieve success.  

Will “telepresence” stay after the pandemic is over? Autor requested. Nadella outlined 4 ideas: first, the collaboration between entrance line employees and information employees will proceed, because the collaboration has proved to be extra productive in some methods; second, conferences will change however collaboration will proceed earlier than, throughout, and after conferences; third, studying and the supply of coaching might be higher assisted with digital instruments; and “video fatigue” might be acknowledged as an actual factor.   

“We need to get people out of their square boxes and into a shared sense of presence, to reduce cognitive load,” Nadella stated. “One of my worries is that we are burning the social capital that got built up. We need to learn new techniques for building social capital back.”  

Learn extra about AI and the Work of the Future Congress 2020, GPT-3 inTechTalks and on the Microsoft AI weblog, the Power Platform and Dataverse. 

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