Microsoft seeks AI integration as company layoffs continue

Microsoft seeks AI integration as company layoffs continue

  • Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella spoke in Davos this week about the future of AI in the workplace.
  • His comments come as the company began its first wave of layoffs, which is expected to hit 10,000 people.
  • The increased availability of Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service follows AI integration into the company’s own products such as Excel and Bing.

Microsoft is making heavy use of artificial intelligence, incorporating the technology into workplace emails, slideshows, and spreadsheets — part of its ongoing partnership with OpenAI, the company behind popular chatbot ChatGPT.

The tech giant announced earlier this week that it had opened up access to its Azure OpenAI service, which uses Microsoft’s 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 companies can request access to the world’s most advanced AI models,” the announcement reads.

The launch of Azure OpenAI Service follows Microsoft’s integration of OpenAI technology into its own products such as Excel, PowerPoint and Bing, The Washington Post reported, and continues a broad trend in big tech that includes the current generation of AI technology.

It also comes after reports that the company had been in talks to invest $10 billion in OpenAI by the end of 2022, after initially investing $1 billion in the company in 2019.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said earlier this week at a Wall Street Journal panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that the company plans to soon commercialize AI tools broadly for its products.

“Every Microsoft product will have some of the same AI capabilities to completely transform the product,” Nadella said, according to the Journal.

Nadella went on to say that workers should embrace new AI tools rather than fear them, the Journal reported.

“The best way to prepare for this is not to bet against this technology, and this technology will help you in your work and your business processes,” he said.

However, as Microsoft relies on AI for its products and new services, recent widespread layoffs across the company have affected teams working on ChatGPT integration.

A first wave of about 1,000 layoffs at the company this week included members of the internal team responsible for integrating ChatGPT technology with Bing, Insider reported this week. The company plans to lay off a total of 10,000 employees by March.

Still, Nadella predicted that the current generation of AI will bring about a major shift in the industry, The Washington Post reported. Speaking at Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal panel, he said AI tools will boost human productivity, thereby boosting economic growth and wages.

“We need something that really changes the productivity curve so we can have real economic growth,” he said during the panel.

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