Welcome to the Cloud Wars Minute — your daily news and commentary show, guest-hosted by Acceleration Economy practitioner analyst Aaron Back. Each episode provides insights and perspectives around the “reimagination machine” that is the cloud.
This episode is sponsored by Acceleration Economy’s “Cloud Wars Top 10 Course,” which explains how Bob Evans builds and updates the Cloud Wars Top 10 ranking, as well as how C-suite executives use the list to inform strategic cloud purchase decisions. The course is available today.
In this episode, Aaron shares details on the Microsoft-Databricks partnership, discussed at a recent Databricks event. Microsoft is the number one company on the Cloud Wars Top 10 list, and Databricks is on the Acceleration Economy Top 10 Shortlist of Data Modernization Enablers.
00:10 — Databricks’ 2023 Data and AI Summit was centered on the theme “Generation AI.” One noteworthy segment featured Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who joined remotely to chat with Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi.
01:10 — Nadella spoke on the effort to understand the impact of artificial intelligence (AI). He raised the critical point of AI governance, harkening back to the steam engine, which is a great analogy he likes to use. He noted negative consequences of the steam engine including pollution and child labor. In that same context, he brought up three parallel tracks to focus on when it comes to AI governance.
Which companies are the most important vendors in data? Check out the Acceleration Economy Data Modernization Top 10 Shortlist.
01:47 — The first issue he urges the industry to address is misinformation and ensuring there is watermarking on AI to understand if it’s generated by humans or AI. The second is tackling cyber-risk and understanding bias and ways to ground the AI models. Then there’s AI takeoff, specifically ensuring it doesn’t crash. Nadella emphasizes that people can’t abdicate responsibility for AI and notes the need to keep humans in the loop and put guardrails in place.
02:42 — Nadella also discussed the expanding partnership between Databricks and Microsoft, where companies, including AT&T, are using Microsoft and Databricks to drive business outcomes. Ghodsi noted that Databricks engineers are using Microsoft Copilot. Databricks combined with Azure is helping with “confidential computing,” which is a way to secure AI through cybersecurity and ensure AI outputs are trustworthy.
03:47 — A fireside chat featured Ghodsi and the head of global tech strategy, innovation, and partnership at JP Morgan Chase, Larry Feinsmith. Feinsmith spoke about the huge investments the bank is making in AI. The bank will not roll out generative AI until it can mitigate all the risks in an entirely responsible manner. Feinsmith said the bank recently appointed a leader for its AI-driven data and analytics unit, so it’s continuing to invest in this area.
05:16 — Aaron appreciates that Microsoft and Databricks are committed to responsible AI. He sees this as a win-win-win: for customers, the companies themselves, and partnerships.