Microsoft is going all in on artificial intelligence, prioritizing the advanced technology in its fiscal 2017 earnings report, according to CNBC. In its year-end earnings statement, for the fiscal year ending June 30, Microsoft made AI a key part of its business vision in its effort to create "an intelligent edge infused with artificial intelligences."
As the way people and companies interact with technology changes, more advanced computing processes are necessary, Microsoft said. A new era of technology is emerging where "AI drives insights and acts on the user's behalf, and user experiences span devices with a user's available data and information. "
Microsoft wants AI accessible across all devices, applications and infrastructure to help to act on the user's behalf to drive insight, according to the earnings report. Part of that will come from the company's use of Azure, which helps scale data intensive efforts without requiring devices to store data locally.
Microsoft is moving away from its "mobile first, cloud first" roots into an era where advanced and analytic heavy technology reigns. The move is in line with what the company has signaled for a while. It wants to create a technological core that drives insight without manual processes.
CEO Satya Nadella has already started promoting a new era for Microsoft. When he joined as CEO in 2014, he rolled out the company's "mobile first, cloud first" slogan. But At Microsoft Build this year, he introduced the new corporate mantra of "intelligent cloud."
The new phrase illustrates Microsoft's efforts to build artificial intelligence into apps and services, reflecting how much of technology is supported by robust troves of data. Microsoft wants to remain on the forefront of computing, for consumers and in the enterprise.
But the AI prioritization also holds a humanitarian angle for Nadella. Speaking in September, Nadella said Microsoft is pursuing AI for the "greater good" and wants to "democratize AI." With AI and support from advanced analytics, Nadella thinks people can build tools to solve the biggest problems society and the economy face.