Satya Nadella Calls for Tech Industry to Open Up AI
Artificial intelligence is still in a “mainframe era” in which computing power is concentrated in a few companies’ hands, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a presentation in Munich, according to Bloomberg. The computer industry is “worshiping” technology companies that can simulate real-world processes using AI software, but to become more useful the techniques need to be available to more users, as PCs and mobile devices over time displaced centralized computing, Nadella said in a speech at the DLD technology conference.
Microsoft’s strategy will center around building support for AI into tools many developers can use. “We fit that identity pretty well,” Nadella said, adding that Microsoft could also build support for AI techniques into products including LinkedIn and its HoloLens virtual reality system. He has been promoting “responsible” AI to try to ensure the burgeoning computing discipline safeguards computer users’ privacy and preserves the dignity of people and their work.
Nadella has reorganized the company’s vaunted research arm around AI and shipped products including Azure cloud-computing services and tools for developers to build applications for artificial intelligence applications; software for real-time translation of spoken German, Chinese and other languages; and the Cortana speech assistant. “We’re out of the AI winter,” Nadella said. Next on the industry’s agenda should be software that can more generally reason across numerous tasks. “Then you would get to artificial general intelligence,” he said.