Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at the company’s Build developer conference in Seattle on May 7, 2018.
Grant Hindsley | Bloomberg | Getty Images
If there’s one company that has popularized artificial intelligence in the last year, it’s the small but well-funded startup OpenAI, the entity behind the viral chatbot ChatGPT.
This week at the Build conference for software developers Microsoft she made a lot of use of cooperation with a startup in which she invested billions.
The centerpiece of Tuesday, the show’s first day, was an onstage conversation between Greg Brockman, co-founder and president of OpenAI, and Kevin Scott, Microsoft’s chief technology officer and the person credited with building an unusually close relationship between the two companies.
“You heard it from Greg,” Scott told the crowd gathered at the Seattle Convention Center in Washington near the end of the lecture. “You all are the ones who make AI great.
To that end, Microsoft has announced a number of developer products that leverage OpenAI technology:
- There are new ones Azure Cloud Tools for a customized text summary.
- The upcoming chatbot promises to help developers work with data and prepare it for analysis.
- Developers will be able to create plugins that work inside ChatGPT and chatbots inside Microsoft’s own products, including one that will debut on Windows next month.
- Developers who receive coding suggestions via GitHub Copilot This function will access the chatbot in the Windows Terminal command line program.
Generative AI will change software forever, Nadella says
OpenAI released ChatGPT to the wider world in November, generating a lot of consumer interest. Soon, companies such as Atlasian, Morgan Stanley and Salesforce rushed to demonstrate the integration of the large OpenAI GPT-4 language model that powers the chatbot. GPT-4 and alternatives from similar ones Amazon and Google they were trained on vast Internet data sets and became able to spit out chunks of natural-sounding text.
It is a popular form of what has come to be called generative AI, which can take human input and respond with computer-generated output.
“Every layer of the software stack is going to change forever, and there’s no better place to start than the actual developer stack,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during his Build keynote on Tuesday. “We as developers are fundamentally changing how we build.”
It’s critical for third-party developers to keep enriching Microsoft’s own software properties, such as the Microsoft 365 productivity software suite. Such work could help Microsoft’s Teams communications app, for example, become a more obvious hub for an ever-widening selection of processes and tasks that companies need to perform. This may make it less likely that companies will switch to alternatives such as Google Workspace.
Microsoft notified dozens of plugin developers on Tuesday, including Adobe, AsanaCanva, clouds, Redfin, Spotify and TripAdvisor. The demo showed the Windows chatbot turning on a Spotify playlist, creating a company logo using Adobe Express, and sending the logo to a person’s colleagues via Teams in response to a series of messages entered.
At the same time, Nadella has pushed for Microsoft to incorporate GPT-4 directly into Teams and older Microsoft products such as the Bing search engine, often leading to bots branded as Copilot. The term Copilot emphasizes collaboration with humans, as opposed to, for example, the advanced Autopilot driver assistance system. Tesla vehicles.
“We’re adding Copilot to everything,” Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and AI group, told CNBC last week. “It’s less of a top-down mandate, although we’re certainly going top-down. I think it’s something we’ve evangelized internally and really excited every team. And we’re building a common stack across Microsoft that the whole company is building on top of.”
Analysts reacted favorably to the onslaught of developers.
“The pace of MSFT’s GenAI innovation remains impressive to us,” Mizuho analysts wrote with a buy rating on Microsoft shares in a note to clients on Wednesday.
Brockman hinted to developers that the cost of GPT-4, which runs on Azure, could come down.
“I think we cut the price by 70 percent two years ago,” he told Scott. “We’ve basically reduced costs by 90% in the last year. A tenfold reduction in costs – that’s crazy, right? And I think we’ll be able to do the same thing repeatedly with new models. And so the GPT -4 right now, it’s expensive, isn’t it totally accessible. But that’s one of the things that I think will change.”
WATCHES: Microsoft Build 2023 unveils plugins and products that include artificial intelligence