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Satya Nadella offers his thoughts on building helpful artificial intelligence

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has written an editorial about how humanity can create artificial intelligence that will help people in the future, rather than harm them either directly or indirectly. Nadella first announced the company's new push into developing better A.I. at its Build 2016 developer conference in March.

The editorial was posted on Slate and Nadella states that, at the moment, most people think of A.I. in two different extremes:

Our perception of A.I. seems trapped somewhere between the haunting voice of HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey and friendlier voices in today's personal digital assistants—Cortana, Siri, and Alexa. We can daydream about how to use our spare time when machines drive us places, do our chores, help us make better decisions. Or we can fear a robot-induced massive economic dislocation later this century. Depending on whom you listen to, the so-called "singularity," that moment when computer intelligence will surpass human intelligence, might occur by the year 2100—or it's simply the stuff of science fiction.

Instead of this "good-bad" discussion on how A.I. will affect humanity, Nadella believes that we should instead talk about the values of the people and companies that are developing this revolution in hardware and software. He says that this approach is what Microsoft is taking in terms of its own A.I. projects:

First, we want to build intelligence that augments human abilities and experiences. Ultimately, it's not going to be about human vs. machine. We humans have creativity, empathy, emotion, physicality, and insight that can then be mixed with powerful A.I. computation—the ability to reason over large amounts of data and do pattern recognition more quickly—to help move society forward. Second, we also have to build trust directly into our technology. We must infuse technology with protections for privacy, transparency, and security. A.I. devices must be designed to detect new threats and devise appropriate protections as they evolve. And third, all of the technology we build must be inclusive and respectful to everyone.

Nadella's editorial is an excellent look at how both he and Microsoft will strive to create A.I. programs and products that will be designed to help mankind, rather than create a Terminator-like future.

19 Comments
  • It would be very helpful to replace him with AI.
  • Heheh he will look like a nerd agent 47 (hitman) lol
  • Or how about replacing you with AI for posting meaningless comments.
  • Hmm, bot AI might be useful for those applications. Have them scan comments for trolling, terrorism, racism, etc and collapse such comments with a warning label.
  • AI would have saved MS from LinkedIn fiasco for sure.
  • Agreed.  Since he's been at the helm,  he's single handedly destroyed the consumer market of microsoft.  I am soon fully integrated with mac/ios.  Let me tell you,  its such a better computing experience than windows.  Both mobile and desktop.  MS half baking everything is silly...They have not spine.  or, as this article is about..intellegence.  What MS should be doing is STOP announcing awesome features that they dream up before they implement them fully.  This way thier consumer fan base will not be like,  AWESOME we are getting this....COMING SOON....then turn around and say....NOPE....not doing that.  They are making a rod for their own ass doing this.  I was a very staunch supporter of MS/WIndows/mobile.   Until they started pulling everything out of the 10m,  and dropping support.   Im gone to apple and could not be happier.  Its so polished and smooth.  ANY app,  ANY device, ANY wearable, ANY accessory is available for my apple products.....and they are awesome.  Once you stop looking at pure specs,  you see the iphone is acaully very fast, and a well built device. 
  • "And third, all of the technology we build must be inclusive and respectful to everyone." Read this google !?!
  • MS too. They neglect their own platforms too often leaving out their own user base.
  • They're talking about AI, not platforms.  AIs learn what people feed them.  They are not sophisticated enough to respect anyone.
  • This guy is good with words but i never come out of his speeches or interviews with belief in him
  • How about some common sense instead?
  • What do you mean ? /s
  • Microsoft definitely has the upper-hand when it comes to AI and bots... should be interesting to see how companies will adapt it and how they'll protect from using AI for 'evil' purposes (or even protecting from the AIs doing the wrong actions on their own terms).  Interesting times.
  • Nadella Loser!!! An I.A is better for MS Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • How about working on making W10m better instead?
  • Nadella speaking about privacy & transparency. LOL.
  • Can't believe how near sighted some of you are... He needs to look into the future... ok, it would be cool to have better win10m, but AI is probably the next big thing, and having a head start is FAR more important for the years to come. They had a headstart with PC... look where that got them! Having great AI unlocks all sorts of interactions! wearables, furniture, self driving cars... think outside of the box please.
  • He better not look to far into the future,  because if he keeps doing what hes doing hes going to find himself unemployed and MS like blackberry
  • He needs to jump on making good windows phones and getting Amazon to make a uwp phone app as well as this.