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Business News/ Ai / India on par with the world in AI adoption: Satya Nadella
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India on par with the world in AI adoption: Satya Nadella

The Microsoft chief said the Silicon Valley giant will provide AI skills to 2 million people in India

Microsoft Corp. chief executive Satya Nadella said that just as personal computers drastically improved productivity in the workplace, so will AI. (AP) (AP)Premium
Microsoft Corp. chief executive Satya Nadella said that just as personal computers drastically improved productivity in the workplace, so will AI. (AP) (AP)

India may have been slow to wake up to the four seismic shifts in technology, but not the fifth: Artificial intelligence (AI).

Microsoft Corp. chief executive Satya Nadella on Wednesday said AI is the first ‘platform shift’ where India has kept pace with the world in the development of technology. The four previous shifts were personal computers, internet, mobile devices and cloud computing.

“This is the first time I feel what’s happening in India and what’s happening in the rest of the world—there is no impedance (delay), there is no gap," he said, as he pitched his company’s AI prowess to a packed house at the Microsoft CEO Connection event in Mumbai.

“If anything, the use cases here are so unique... and are paving their own path. And that’s what’s exciting. We’re not just talking about AI; we’re scaling AI," the India-born Nadella said about the adoption of AI in the country.

Nadella, who has been at Microsoft for 32 years and has completed 10 years as its CEO, said the Silicon Valley giant will provide AI skills to two million people in India.

Interestingly, the guest list for Wednesday’s event was put together by Microsoft’s Copilot chatbot, said Puneet Chandok, its president for India and South Asia.

Nadella drew attention to the Indian electronics and IT ministry’s estimate that AI could add around $500 million to India’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025 as the country reaches its aspiration of becoming a $5 trillion economy. India’s nominal GDP is currently pegged at $3.7 trillion.

The Microsoft top boss drew parallels to the industrial revolution era in Great Britain, where laying rail roads—the revolutionizing technology of the day—accounted for as much as 10% of the GDP.

“When you have a new general-purpose technology, how intensely you invest in deploying it across sectors inside the economy makes a difference to a country’s prospects going forward," Nadella said.

The business leader, widely credited for turning Microsoft around with the launch of the Azure cloud computing platform, evangelized the importance of AI to the future of businesses.

He said just as personal computers drastically improved productivity in the workplace, so will AI.

“This age of AI is really expertise at your fingertips," Nadella said.

“Think what happened to forecasting. Before personal computers, before emails and spreadsheets, how did we do forecasting? And then how did the business process of forecasting change? Same thing is happening now," he said.

Meanwhile, Tata Communications Ltd said on Wednesday that it had partnered with Microsoft to provide flexibility in collaboration and connectivity on Microsoft Teams for enterprises in the country.

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Published: 07 Feb 2024, 03:17 PM IST
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