Al is only a means, not an end: Nadella after Altman’s return to OpenAI


As Sam Altman returned to OpenAI after the five-day intense drama, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella has said that technology, including Al, is only a tool. In an internal memo to employees ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Nadella said that the pace of innovation that they have driven has been remarkable, especially during a time of so much “continued hardship and uncertainty in the world.”

“But technology, including Al, is only a tool. It’s a means, not an end. And, ultimately, our end is our mission to empower people and organisations all over the planet — one individual, one community, one country at a time,” he told employees. “At the end of the day, the greatest privilege of my job is working with people who are driven by mission. There is no better example of this than these past 5 days, when I saw people across the company remaining focused on our mission and serving our customers and partners, stepping up to help in every way possible,” Nadella added.

Microsoft Chief Technology Office (CTO) and EVP of AI, Kevin Scott, also addressed employees about the OpenAI turmoil, reports The Verge. “The events of the past few days have been uncertain for our colleagues at OpenAl, and of intense interest to many others. Throughout, nothing has changed or wavered about our resolve and focus to deliver the world’s best Al technology platforms and products to our customers and partners,” Scott said in a separate memo to employees. “We will continue to support our colleagues at OpenAl and the phenomenal work they’ve been doing alongside us in service of that mission. As we have for these past 4+ years, we look forward to continuing our work with Sam and his team,” he added.


Scott said that despite the potential of the past few days to distract us, both Microsoft and OpenAl scientists and engineers have been working with undiminished urgency. On Wednesday, OpenAI announced that Altman and president and co-founder Greg Brockman are returning to the company with a new board in place.