Microsoft wants to offer superior, health-focused research and AI solutions to health and fitness industries. This week saw the American software giant announce a bid to expand itself in the space of health-care.
Although the news proves that Microsoft wants to grow in the realm of health-care, the makers of Windows are no strangers to the industry. Microsoft Corporation has been innovating health technology for more than a decade. These efforts have died down considerably in recent years while other ventures came to the fore. However, Microsoft now seeks to revive itself in the segment. According to their latest announcement, the firm’s push will come in the form of its new Healthcare NExT platform.
Microsoft was moving vigorously through health industries around ten years ago. The firm was seen adopting various health-care companies and hiring medical professionals in a bid to secure a strongholds in the markets of vitality. Vitality tech subsequently took a back seat while Microsoft strove to grow itself into an AI and Cloud superpower.
Microsoft forges into health with AI
On Thursday, Microsoft made news of its newest health-care project. Healthcare NExt forms part of the tech giant’s AI + Research Group unit. It will see the collaboration of multiple third parties such as the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and be led by the VP of Microsoft Research, Peter Lee.
The announcement claims that the makers of Windows wish to build a platform that would allow them to secure more strategic partnerships in the health industry. This would also give Microsoft a chance to “deeply integrate greenfield research and health technology product development.”
Even though Microsoft is among the world’s leading tech juggernauts, the U.S. company is not without hits and misses either. Its ventures in health and fitness are one of its hard to win areas. There is little hope for products like the Microsoft Band, which is a fitness wrist piece that failed to fend off the effects of a slumping wearables market.
Microsoft appears to have found renewed confidence in its capacity as an AI leader, enough to conquer certain health-care sectors by the looks of it. Recent projects see the company lending its AI expertise to health-related industries. The software giant is working on an AI chatbot for fast, accurate research and diagnoses. Its HealthVault, an innovative archive for patient records, seeks to use AI technology to draw unseen parallels for better diagnosis. The makers of Windows covered a lot of ground in the markets of remote storage and computing services. They now stands as a formidable rival in the race to secure first place in global cloud and AI solutions.
Microsoft as AI juggernaut
“There are a few companies that are at the cutting-edge of AI,” CEO SatyaNadella tells the AFR, “in whichever way you look at it.” The MSFT boss strongly believes that his company makes the cut.
The projects which Microsoft has undergone to boost its AI infrastructure and services are proving their worth. By combining cloud services with its enhanced expertise in Artificial Intelligence, Microsoft has jumped to the front of cloud-based markets. The tech firm is set to put its cloud solutions ahead of even more conventional offerings by infusing them will greater intelligence systems.
Microsoft’s Azure has already seen the world greatest deployment of custom FPGAs. Formal considered field-programmable gate arrays, FPGAs are essential more smarter, more versatile processors and they are placed in all of MSFT’s data centers around the world. Nadella claims that this has effectively produced the globe’s “first AI supercomputer”.
The immense capabilities of Microsoft’s AI systems were recently showcased when it successfully translated all of Wikipedia’s English articles (around 5 million in total) into a different language. This was achieved in under a tenth of a second at its most recent Ignite Conference.
“[W]hen you look at the capability around speech recognition, who has the state of the art? Microsoft does,” the CEO asserted. “[W]ith image recognition? Microsoft again. [T]hose are not subjective,” he went on to defend, “they are judged by objective criteria.”
AI should be for everyone – Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is certain that it has multiple advantages over its rivals at this point. In part, its CEO claims that this is because the likes of Amazon, IBM and Google are less focused on some of the more important aspects of AI and cloud solutions, like how the software should ideally be used to interact with people.
Seeking to accelerate its growth as an AI superpower, the Windows producer has secured several rising start-ups. Amazon and Google are known for doing the same. By adopting rising superstars in the realm of AI solutions, Microsoft manages to gain more expertise, and greater exposure to its own services.
While at the head of MSFT, Nadella seeks to democratize the power of cloud AI the same way the company helped enable information are your fingertips. “We want to bring intelligence to everything, to everywhere and for everyone.”