Microsoft chairman and chief executive officer Satya Nadella, during Microsoft's Future Ready Technology Summit today, appreciated India stack, and said the rapid digital transformation is helping India realise its ‘Digital India’ vision. 

On the third day of his latest visit to India, Nadella said having a robust data infrastructure for all varieties of data structures will be one of the key challenges in the coming days. “Cloud helped us build artificial intelligence (AI) and even the data sets are in a state where we can deal with this. At Microsoft, we are building all of this infrastructure for all the operational stores," he said.

“We are taking the output of all these large models (AI) -- like GPT, DALL-E and Codex -- and making them available as cognitive services as open AI. So we are going to democratise access to these large models so everyone can build on top of it.”

Talking about the use cases, Nadella said he had a chance to meet people at SEEDS (Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society), which is taking all high-definition satellite imagery to create essentially micro-forecast for disaster relief. "It's an interesting use-case to help people to help in a vulnerable time."

He said a mind-dropping moment for him was when he saw the Digital India BHASHINI Programme of the National Language Translation Mission. "We are working with the government to enable digital public good around language translation so that everybody in India has the ability to tap into AI models that essentially is possible."

He said: "We can go on and on about what's happening in India for the digital public good, and it's phenomenal. It's unbelievable for me to see India stack mature and go between tech and policy, there's nothing like this I see anywhere in the world."

The 55-year-old tech boss also talked about a funny conversation he had with the popular AI model ChatGPT, which is developed by the Microsoft-backed platform OpenAI.

He said he asked ChatGPT to rank the most famous south Indian tiffin, to which the reply came as dosa, vada, uttapam, idli and pongal and biryani. "And for some reason, it thinks biryani is a tiffin," said Nadella.

"I gave it the prompt that I don't think so. And it apologised to me very politely. As a Hyderabadi, you can't insult me by saying that biryani is a tiffin," he quipped. The Microsoft CEO goes on to say that he even asked ChatGPT to write a play on idli, dosa and vada, in which the former two dishes argue that they were the best tiffin options than the other. "It is fascinating to see how generative models are capturing the imagination," he said.

The Microsoft CEO also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi today and shared “the government’s deep focus on sustainable and inclusive economic growth led by digital transformation.” Nadella also had a conversation with Nandan Nilekani, co-founder, of Infosys, in Bengaluru on India’s technological advancements.

Separately, Microsoft has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to fuel the growth of space-tech startups in India. The MoU seeks to empower space tech startups across the country with tech tools and platforms, go-to-market support and mentoring to help them scale and become enterprise ready.

The collaboration seeks to strengthen ISRO’s vision of harnessing the market potential of the most promising space tech innovators and entrepreneurs in India. Through this tie-up, the space-tech startups identified by ISRO will be onboarded onto the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub platform, which supports startups at every stage of their journey from idea to unicorn.

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