Artificial intelligence has made great strides in recent years and many of today’s tech giants are striving to get ahead of the game. While Tesla have been leading the race in the automotive department – despite Elon Musk stating that AI could pose an “existential threat” to human civilization – Microsoft has now set on a new path: to bring AI to the mainstream.
During the 2017 annual Build Conference, Indian-born chief executive officer, Satya Nadella showcased a new app that demonstrated how AI could tap into the cloud. Nadella subsequently stressed the importance of building trust in technology, further adding that developers had a responsibility to “prevent the dystopian ‘1984’ future that many people fear.” His presentation even included pictures from the George Orwell classic, as well as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.
“What Orwell prophesied in ‘1984,’ where technology was being used to monitor, control, dictate, or what Huxley imagined we may do just by distracting ourselves without any meaning or purpose – neither of these futures is something that we want,” he said.
The future of computing is likely going to be shaped by the choices developers make. Therefore, the question we should all be asking is, how will these decisions create a long-lasting impact on the world? Technology can help boost profitability, but this shift in the paradigm could cause millions of engineers – as well as countless everyday white collar workers – to lose their jobs. With the advent of self-driving cars, biometric technology and the Internet of Things, it’s a question that needs serious consideration.
The vice president of the AI division went on to state that Microsoft was constantly infusing AI into its products and services and working hard to create the building blocks for the recent [and future] wave of artificial intelligence. The company has already delved head first into machine learning, AI and biometrics; that ship has sailed, but where it will dock is still anyone’s guess. And with competitors such as Google, Apple, IBM, Facebook, and Amazon also working to bring AI to consumers, perhaps we will find out much sooner than we all originally anticipated.