Microsoft Corporation believes that the world’s artificial intelligence efforts should be steered toward technology that aids and uplifts people, not replaces them. The Company’s CEO, Satya Nadella, spoke at the DLD conference in Munich this week. The chief exec says tech companies should avoid ventures for artificial intelligence aimed at using the power of AI without preserving human jobs.
“The fundamental need of every person is to be able to use their time more effectively, not to say, ‘Let us replace you’,” Nadella tells Bloomberg.
Microsoft: Don’t let AI replace people
The American software giant is not immune to today’s AI trends either. Microsoft currently offers multiple AI-based solutions for personal and corporate use. They function toward the efficiency of its Azure, Office 365 and Cortana products. These stand out among several others. But Nadella warns of the other side of the AI coin. When misguided, the technology can be worked at removing the need for human effort, building greater threats to people’s jobs.
At this year’s WEF in Davos, Microsoft’s CEO will form part of a group of industry leaders who seek to bring attention to a few of these lingering concerns. The group will advocate the notion that the current obsession with AI solutions, as seen with tech majors likes Facebook , Google, Apple and Amazon , could lead to the creation of products that will remove more people from workplaces, rather than help them.
Nothing to worry about?
There are many others who claim concerns about machines replacing humans are premature at. The last three years have certainly seen speedy advances in AI. However, the McKinsey Global Institute released contradicting a report this week. It suggests that the pace at which machines remove humans from work is much lower than many people fear.
The institute says the eventual deployment of automated systems often takes several decades. In that time, more humans are needed to work alongside and operate these intelligent tools. The same reports claims nearly half of all current work activities will be up for automation by 2055.
Access to the Future
David Wening, CEO at eBay, believes AI stands to deeply cut away at the need for human workers. Although, the man is also against certain levels of regulation.
“We are often afraid of what we don’t know, but restraining technology is not the answer. While we can’t hold back progress, we can shape it. Preparing today’s workers for the skills of tomorrow is key, as is increasing everyone’s access to the tools of the future.”
Wening says that job training should evolve along with technology and it’s advances. He highlights the growing shortages in jobs closely related to AI. These include fields like AI engineering, operation and data science.
Satya Nadella reiterated that the next two year will see AI truly come to the fore of everyday use. His statement comes after his company adopted AI talent from Maluuba last week. The Canadian research lab currently makes headway in AI and deep-learning solutions. Giving credit to a few leading AI ventures, Nadella also recognizes the work done by online juggernauts Google and Amazon as huge advances.
Microsoft: Workers should evolve with AI
He also stresses that companies should focus on training people to develop similar tools. Efforts like these will feed relevant skills into the workforce and not only preserve, but create more jobs in the process.
This is the message that Nadella will take to the World Economic Forum this Wednesday. Artificial intelligence and the effort to place more forward-thinking abilities in our technology is among the biggest modern day double-edged swords.
Microsoft Corporation features AI applications in the machine-learning platform of its Azure cloud solutions. They are also instilled in products like Azure Cognitive Services and the Cortana Intelligence Suite. Further AI tools can be found in it’s Robotics unit, Bing and Ambient Computing.