Microsoft's Internal Emails: Competition with Google AI

Microsoft’s Internal Emails: Competition with Google AI

Microsoft‘s leaked internal communications reveal a strong emphasis on narrowing the gap with Google in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI). In a 2019 email, Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott expressed serious concerns to CEO Satya Nadella and co-founder Bill Gates regarding Microsoft's lag behind Google in AI advancements. Scott admitted that Microsoft had underestimated the level of investment by its competitor and acknowledged that the company was "several years behind" in terms of machine learning capabilities.

Google's Head Start

Google's six-month lead enabled them to create larger models and surge ahead in the AI race. Microsoft faced challenges in keeping pace with Google, notably in replicating Google's BERT large language model. Despite having a model template, Microsoft's infrastructure constraints caused a training delay of nearly six months compared to Google. This delay allowed Google to enhance BERT, creating even larger models that significantly boosted search question-answering and Gmail's autocompletion functions, leading to a notable performance increase observed by Scott, who noted a 10-point jump in these areas for competitors.

Strategic Partnerships and Investments

Dr.iven by a sense of urgency, Microsoft forged a collaboration with OpenAI in 2019, investing $1 billion in the venture. Since then, their partnership has deepened, with Microsoft's total investment exceeding $13 billion as of May 1, 2024. This substantial financial commitment underscores Microsoft's determined pursuit of AI leadership, a critical domain for competing with Google and preserving its technological relevance.

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