AI Should Mean Cooperation, Not Threat – Satya Nadella


According to Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, in his new book, “Hit Refresh”, Advances in artificial intelligence should be used to help humans and machines work together, rather than to create competition between them in everything from chess matches to the job market.

“The first choices we get to make are choices around the design of AI, and let’s make that first design choice to augment human capability,” rather than seeking ways to have technology replace people, Nadella said in an interview, a day ahead of the book’s release. He also cited a Microsoft project that uses computer vision to aid blind users as one example. “Our goal should be to find more and more examples of such sort.”

Seeing that this will take lots of effort to be achieved, he says. Like U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s commitment to land the U.S. on the moon in the 1960s, the technology industry and its funders need to set a goal for AI that is “sufficiently bold and ambitious, one that goes beyond anything that can be achieved through incremental improvements to current technology”. To get there, he calls for greater cooperation on AI among the influential companies in the industry, including Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker and a player in AI research for more than two decades. “Advancing AI to this level will require an effort even more ambitious than a moon shot,” he writes.

Satya also calls for a greater focus on ways technology can be used to accelerate economic growth, while ensuring that the benefits are distributed more equitably. In his own book, Nadella says finding ways to grow and innovate while reducing inequity is “perhaps the most pressing need of our times.” It may become more pressing as shifts toward automation threaten jobs more rapidly than workers can be trained for newer ones, stepping up the need to find a balance.

“Are we growing economically?” he asks in the book. “No. Are we growing equality? No. Do we need new technological breakthroughs to achieve these goals? Yes. Will new technologies create job displacement? Yes. And so how can we therefore solve for more inclusive growth?”

For the first time, he discusses in detail the birth of his oldest child, son Zain, who has severe cerebral palsy. He shares the impact of the experience on his family, his sense of empathy for others and his drive to use technology to improve accessibility for people with disabilities.

“Let’s create the jobs of the future,” Nadella said. “There can be policies that create the right wages to support those jobs.”

Satya Narayana Nadella (born 19 August 1967) is an Indian American business executive. He is the current Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Microsoft, succeeding Steve Ballmer in 2014. Before becoming CEO, he was Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company’s computing platforms, developer tools and cloud computing services.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence exhibited by machines. In computer science, the field of AI research defines itself as the study of “intelligent agents”: any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success at some goal. Colloquially, the term “artificial intelligence” is applied when a machine mimics “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as “learning” and “problem solving”.

The central problems (or goals) of AI research include reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, natural language processing(communication), perception and the ability to move and manipulate objects. General intelligence is among the field’s long-term goals. Approaches include statistical methods, computational intelligence, and traditional symbolic AI. Many tools are used in AI, including versions of search and mathematical optimization, logic, methods based on probability and economics.

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