Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Wednesday extended commitment to extend skilling opportunities to over 2 million Indians by 2025. Speaking at “Microsoft CEO Connection,” a thought leadership event in Mumbai for the top leadership of the Indian tech sector, the Microsoft CEO heralded the AI age to be as transformative in its productive potential as personal computers were for enterprises across all industry verticals. 

Nadella’s visit to Mumbai comes after nearly a year when he first pitched the potential of AI. This year, his keynote moved away from Microsoft Cloud, devoting its entire focus to AI. Nadella encourages Indian firms to adopt AI products fast. “What we are seeing inside our company are imperatives of how you are going to get ahead in driving those business outcomes. The first one is to adopt products like Microsoft Copilot fast,” he said, speaking about the Microsoft AI chatbot, one of the first enterprise use cases of their LLM technology.

“It reminds me, quite frankly, of the first paradigm shift that I was a part of which was PCs. In the late 90s, PCs became the standard issue model for work. They changed (the paradigm) remarkably, I think that was the last time that IT had a direct relationship with to productivity stats. PCs bought information to the fingertips. In the age of AI, it will be expertise on your fingertips.”

Nadella also claimed that the paradigm shift with AI in India is no different from the rest of the world, “I have been coming to India through all the four platform shifts that I have been a part of being a part of Microsoft. Whether it was PCs.,,subsequently it was the web and the internet and then ofcourse mobile and cloud, but this the first time I feel that what is happening in India and what is happening in the rest of the world, there is no impedance, there is no gap.” Nadella highlighted AI adoption of Air India, HCL Tech, Infosys, and Axis Bank – Axis Bank, in particular, has made copilot a standard issue for its employees. 

AI will also transform the frontiers of science. As per Nadella, “We need some new ways to change the scientific process at its curve. That is where AI will help.” Nadella said that AI will compress the scientific process, reduce the search scale of highly computational endeavours and thus truly transform the frontiers of science in every industry, from drug discovery to renewable energy, “That is why it is extremely exciting for a country like India, where there is so much investment and so much capital driven into basic science driven industries.”