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“Generative AI showed up about a year ago, and it changed everything, and it is definitely changing everything at Oracle,” said Larry Ellison, CTO of Oracle, in his keynote at Oracle CloudWorld 2023. The conference and the keynote address was proof that Oracle is optimistic about generative AI and the future it holds, instead of the fear mongering that a lot of tech companies have been pushing around.
The reason is simple — Oracle is going all in on generative AI through its cloud platform. As Ellison further mentioned, “Cloud should be open”, highlighting how all of its customers are already leveraging a multi-cloud approach. Arguably, it is quite a gamble for Oracle.
Regardless, Ellison says that generative AI is “probably” the most-important new computer technology ever. “Billions of dollars are already being invested in the field. Every company is ready to experiment and implement the technology within its working.”
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Making generative AI for everyone
Oracle aims to build the largest scientific supercomputer partnering with NVIDIA. It would be the biggest supercluster of NVIDIA’s H100s, or probably the upcoming GH100s. For both the companies, generative AI is a revolution. “It is a breakthrough. It’s transformational. It’s fundamentally changing things at Oracle…this makes AI central to almost everything we’re doing.”
On NVIDIA’s part, it is clear that it is on the side of AI being safe, and not the doomsday that science fiction has been promoting, which even has the creators of AI worried. Bill Dally, NVIDIA’s chief scientist testified before the US Senate, “Fortunately, uncontrollable artificial general intelligence is science fiction, not reality. At its core, AI is a software program, which is limited to its training, the inputs provided to it, and nature of its output.”
“Humans will always decide how much power they will cede to AI models,” said Dally.
In his keynote, Ellison revealed how Elon Musk’s xAI is also training on Oracle’s Cloud. The self-driving cars that he mentioned in his talk were the ones that Tesla is developing. “They won’t crash as much as the human driven cars do.” Moreover, he also mentions OpenAI as the company founded by Musk. It is clear that Ellison is on the side of what Musk is trying to do. They are even ready to build a Tesla Police car.
“A lot of customers are not going to build what xAI, OpenAI, or Cohere are building using our cloud,” said Ellison. Most of the companies would use what these first-movers have already built, building their own specialised models. That is what Oracle is going to enable through its cloud. “A lot of this is going to focus on healthcare,” which was clearly visible through Ellison’s address.
Addressing the fears around AI
“That does not mean that AI is going to take over the doctor’s job”, it is just going to make his job easier. Addressing this, Ellison also spoke about how privacy was one of the key focuses of all the generative AI vendors in the market, highlighting that generative AI is going to be safe, and in fact already is. Oracle is also building autonomous drones for addressing forest fires and mapping out easier routes for firefighters.
“Automation is much more reliable.” Oracle is focusing on a lot of automation of its tasks by leveraging generative AI to write applications faster. He also added that the teams are already getting a lot smaller. “Does that mean we are going to have massive layoffs at Oracle? No, we are too ambitious for that. We are going to do a lot more,” assured Ellison.
“In the Oracle Cloud, you can use your training data to train your private model with your private data that remains private after training,” Ellison highlights how if users want to use their own data, instead of relying on Microsoft or Oracle ones, they can easily do it, without being concerned about data breach and privacy.
Moreover, Ellison highlighted the company’s dedication towards using AI sustainably and responsibility, and for responsible reasons. Oracle is focusing on integrating its cloud within Microsoft’s Azure cloud so that there is no latency and it also becomes more sustainable.
In the AI doomsday commotion, Ellison took a very different approach, addressing the apprehension and highlighting the benefits of generative AI. He was able to ease into the audience that generative AI is here to stay, and for all the good reasons.