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Microsoft Outsourcing AI R&D to OpenAI Benefits Google Says Tech CEO

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Microsoft Outsourcing AI R&D to OpenAI Benefits Google Says Tech CEO

Microsoft is transferring the development of its top AI tools and software to OpenAI, a move that could benefit Google, according to Todd McKinnon, CEO of identity security firm Okta. In an interview with CNBC, McKinnon mentioned that Google is doing a better job of retaining its R&D in-house, noting, “all came from Google,” referring to transformers that power generative AI technologies.

“This all came from Google, with DeepMind and the research,” McKinnon said. “I mean, the breakthrough was the research from Google, the transformers which are the algorithm that all these LLMs [large language models] are using to make these big advancements.”

McKinnon highlighted the risk that Microsoft’s role in AI could diminish to that of a consultancy, especially as its key products like Copilot and AI-equipped PCs rely heavily on OpenAI’s technology. Microsoft has invested heavily in OpenAI, with a total investment reaching $13 billion as of January 2023.

Despite Google’s challenges with its own AI efforts, including public blunders with its Gemini AI chatbot and image generator, McKinnon believes Google is positioned to maintain its edge by not outsourcing its R&D. He noted that AI requires substantial backing from major tech giants, and issues like disinformation could hinder progress in the field.

McKinnon also said that Microsoft’s reliance on OpenAI for AI development might reduce Microsoft to a consulting role. He stressed that, unlike the disruptive nature of personal computers, current AI advancements require massive investments, like the $10 billion from Microsoft to OpenAI. McKinnon expressed concerns about Big Tech’s dominance in AI, predicting that stringent regulations might leave only the largest companies in control of the technology.

Featured image: Credit: Chatglobalnews