Microsoft CEO Nadella refutes Elon Musk’s claim of control over OpenAI, says small players can compete with giants

In a recent interview, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella contradicted Elon Musk’s assertion that Microsoft had control over OpenAI due to its significant investment. Nadella refuted Musk’s claim, emphasizing that Microsoft does not hold sway over the startup. Moreover, Nadella expressed his belief that smaller companies have a fair opportunity to compete with industry giants like Microsoft and Google.

In contrast to Elon Musk, who withdrew from OpenAI several years ago and has voiced concerns about the ethical implications of AI development, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated that OpenAI’s board is responsible for directing the company’s course. Nadella’s remarks underscored the independence of OpenAI’s decision-making processes and highlighted the divergent viewpoints on the pace of AI advancement within the industry.

“OpenAI is very grounded in their mission of being controlled by a nonprofit board. We have a non-controlling interest in it, we have a great commercial partnership in it,” stated Nadella. 

According to Nadella, the prospects for smaller companies to enter the AI field will hinge on their ability to achieve a suitable product-market fit. He emphasized that Microsoft and Google may not be the sole dominant players in this arena, indicating that other companies can also thrive. Nadella cited the search industry as an illustrative example, where AI has introduced new competition despite Google’s stronghold in the market.

“Who would have thought? Last year if you were sitting here and somebody had said to you, ‘well, you know what, there will be a real contest around search and people may actually even dream that there’s an alternative to Google,'” Nadella said, citing Bing and ChatGPT as rising competitors. 

“There are lots of other folks who have entered the search market. That to me ought to be celebrated,” he added.

Meanwhile, Twitter owner Elon Musk has said that he will continue to voice out his political opinions even if that means losing out on more money. In a conversation with CNBC, Musk was asked why does he share his political views publicly when stakeholders in his company like advertisers on Twitter may not agree with his views and opens him up to criticism.

(With inputs from Bloomberg)

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