Chief executive and chairman of software giant Microsoft Corp, Satya Nadella, during an event at the World Economic Forum 2023, said AI-based apps like ChatGPT would transform human productivity and the future of work.

Built on top of large language models, ChatGPT is a chatbot launched by OpenAI in November 2022. Microsoft is one of the backers of OpenAI. Nadella said the cutting-edge chatbot ChatGPT is capturing the world’s imagination.

“The new artificial intelligence site amassed 1 million users in just five days after its recent launch. It is but one of a dozen AI-driven so-called “killer apps” that will transform human productivity and the future of work.”

Within just months of launch, ChatGPT has caught up the world's imagination. Nadella on January 17, 2023, announced that ChatGPT is coming soon to its Azure OpenAI Service, which is now generally available. The integration is aimed at helping customers apply the world’s most advanced AI models to their own advantage.

He said ChatGPT answers complex questions via short prompts on a vast array of topics and even writes lyrics and poetry. "Underpinned by generative models such as GPT-3 and GPT-3.5, it is the most conspicuous example of technology dubbed generative AI."

He said the golden age of AI is underway and will redefine work as we know it. “The future of work is not just about technology and tools,” he said, adding that it's about new management practices and sensibilities to the workplace.

“Technology will provide more and more ways to bring people together,” he said. Public-private cooperation itself is moving virtual, he said, giving an example of the Forum’s Global Collaboration Village, which harnesses the power of the metaverse as a platform for collaborative, inclusive and effective international action.

“Microsoft is opening up access to new AI tools like ChatGPT,” said Nadella. “I see these technologies acting as a co-pilot, helping people do more with less.”

He also provided two anecdotes of recent use cases of GPT technology. The first is an expert coder from Silicon Valley, who improved productivity by 80% by using the model to help write better code faster. The second was an Indian farmer, who could use a GPT interface to access an opaque government programme via the internet, despite only speaking a local dialect.

“AI is just at the beginning of the S-curve,” said Nadella, adding that its near-term and long-term opportunities are enormous.

Looking ahead, said Nadella, Microsoft is planning to lead on "quantum computing". "Microsoft has all the building blocks for a next-generation quantum computer. Microsoft will achieve quantum supremacy and aims to build a general-purpose quantum computer.”

On safety and security, Nadella said the operating principle for protecting critical infrastructure should be to assume the worst – “have zero trust”. “Safety and security need to be included right at the design stage,” he said. He also talked about sustainability being at the core of the business. “By 2050, Microsoft aims to not just be carbon-neutral but carbon-negative.”

Meanwhile, Seattle-based Microsoft is planning to lay off 10,000 employees — about 5% of its workforce — by the end of the third fiscal quarter of 2023. The Seattle-based tech giant is looking to cut costs amid the looming threat of a global recession.

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