Satya Nadella Says Google Should’ve Been ‘Default Winner’ of AI Race

Estimated read time 3 min read
  • Satya Nadella said Google should’ve been the “default winner” of the Big Tech AI race. 
  • He said Google can “bring some competition” to Microsoft in the AI race.
  • Microsoft — not Google — is the AI frontrunner, tech analyst Dan Ives said last year.  

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Satya Nadella said Google “should have been the default winner” of Big Tech’s AI race.

The Microsoft CEO said the resources available to Google should’ve made it a frontrunner.

“Google’s a very competent company and obviously they have both the talent and the compute. They’re the vertically integrated player in this. They have everything from data to silicon to models to products and distribution,” Nadella said on Norges Bank Investment Management’s podcast “In Good Company.”

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has faced calls to step down after the release of its Gemini image generator didn’t go to plan.

The company paused the rollout of its AI tool last month after social media users said it was generating images of people of color in historically inaccurate contexts.

As Business Insider recently reported, one senior Googler said it was a “PR nightmare” that’s left the company scrambling to play catch up with rivals’ AI products. One senior Google engineer even said in a leaked internal document last year that it isn’t “positioned to win this arms race.”

In contrast, Microsoft has been “controlling the narrative when it comes to AI,” Dan Ives, a tech analyst at Wedbush Securities said last year. It’s enjoyed a “flex the muscles” moment because Microsoft moved quickly to cash in on the success of ChatGPT through a partnership with OpenAI, in which it’s invested billions.

It also launched an AI-powered productivity tool for Office and Excel called 365 Copilot.

But Microsoft’s launch of its own text-to-image generator, Copilot Designer, which also debuted about a year ago, hasn’t been without trouble.

Last week, Microsoft engineer Shane Jones wrote a letter to the FTC in which he raised concerns that the tool produces “harmful content” reflecting sex, violence, and bias.

A day after Jones sent his letter, Nadella said during a session at the World Bank’s Global Digital Summit that tools to reduce the “unintended issues” of AI were not perfect.

When asked about the risks and concerns of AI and how they can be mitigated, Nadella said: “None of this is perfect — we’re talking about new technology where there will be adversarial attacks.”

Microsoft and Google didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider.

On February 28, Axel Springer, Business Insider’s parent company, joined 31 other media groups and filed a $2.3 billion suit against Google in Dutch court, alleging losses suffered due to the company’s advertising practices.