Tom Siebel has some animated words for all the tech CEOs now pontificating on the virtues of AI, the industry’s latest buzzword — or hype.
“It’s just talk. They figure they have to have AI in their messaging but don’t do a thing about it. It’s kind of curious,” Siebel, the chief executive of red-hot C3.ai Inc. AI,
A day earlier, his software company, which deals in enterprise artificial intelligence, issued an upbeat forecast and cited “substantially improving” market sentiment, catapulting C3.ai shares up 28% in late-morning trading Friday.
Read more: C3.ai stock rockets as CEO Siebel touts ‘dramatic change’ in sentiment amid AI hype
For Siebel, a former Oracle Corp. ORCL,
“AI is absolutely the hot topic today. Generally, I helped fuel it. AI is now basically at the top of every CEO’s agenda,” said Siebel, who predicts it will become a $600 billion market.
“Look, we are in the first half of the first inning of the first at-bat” for AI, he said, adding, “Hey, Oracle didn’t really work until version 4.”
After enduring fierce macroeconomic tailwinds that have battered the tech sector over the past several months, C3.ai’s recently completed quarter highlighted “a genuine optimism in the marketplace for our solutions, and the overall business sentiment appears to be substantially improving,” Siebel said in a conference call late Thursday.
The opinionated Siebel also weighed in on the corporate travails of former Oracle colleague Marc Benioff, now the CEO of Salesforce Inc. CRM,
“Marc has done a fine job, but he seems to be getting some religion from institutional investors,” Siebel said. “The prince of ‘wokeness’ who supported employees working from home now wants them to return to the office. They are a ‘woke’ company, and we are a work company.”