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AI should not replace people, warns Microsoft boss

by on17 January 2017

It should make them more efficient

Microsoft’s Supreme Dalek, Satya Nadella, has warned companies against thinking that AI will replace people.

Nadella said that it had become a bit of a thing that people will be replaced by AI when the reality is that the technology should be used to maximizing their time.

Speaking at the Munich DLD conference, Nadella said that companies need to be thinking of letting people need to use their time more effectively and not to say, ‘let us replace you’.

"This year and the next will be the key to democratising AI. The most exciting thing to me is not just our own promise of AI as exhibited by these products, but to take that capability and put it in the hands of every developer and every organisation."

Nadella is pushing Microsoft into consumer and industrial applications of software that can make inferences about its environment. He cautioned his own company and competitors about "parlour tricks" that show AI’s power without preserving workers’ dignity.

He said that there is a thin line between hubris and confidence and there is always a risk of hubris coming back, missing trends. The only long-term indicator of success is, ‘how good is your internal culture?’

"What I’ve learned if anything in three years as CEO is, it’s not about celebrating one product," he said. "That, to me, is the sign of a company that’s built to last. In tech it’s even more harsh."

Nadella said that there had been great advances in AI and he sees Microsoft’s contribution beyond doing that is to democratise the access to the same tools that we use for ourselves so that every developer can use them to create their own intelligence.

Last modified on 17 January 2017
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