- Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says his company is pursuing artificial intelligence for the "greater good" and is working to "democratize AI," according to a GeekWire report.
- Speaking at Microsoft’s Ignite conference in Atlanta, Nadella assured attendees that Microsoft is not, however, pursuing AI to "beat humans at games." Instead, Microsoft "can empower every person and every institution that people build with tools of AI, so that they can go on to solve the most pressing problems of our society and our economy."
- The company wants to revolutionize how organizations work with data, by digesting large quantities of data that can convert into intelligence. AI can also be used to simplify customer service, allowing for a "virtual assistant" to streamline processes so employees can deal with higher-priority concerns.
AI is on its way, and as companies create more advanced capabilities, its widespread use will grow.
Nadella, in his speech, discussed how AI is not just a parlor trick, but instead offers real-world applications that can change how business is done. Though Google’s recent application of its DeepMind technology to defeat a human competitor in Go and IBM’s Jeopardy victory are major computing accomplishments, Nadella is looking toward AI's use in the world.
In June, Microsoft said it will develop AI-based tools designed to aid enterprise productivity. Julie Larson-Green, chief experience officer for Microsoft Office, said it has already added AI-powered features to the latest versions of Office but that it will build even more AI into its tools and products soon.
Though some may fear the rise of automation and its threat against some areas of employment, the technology could help streamline work in the enterprise. As Cognizant points out, business leaders expect AI to be one of the key drivers of business change in the next three years, allowing for employees to have increased ingenuity and freedom from "rote" work.