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Microsoft Donates 500 Patents to Start-ups

The LOT network will be able to provide its start-up members with up to three patents from this collection

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Expanding its “Azure IP Advantage” programme, Microsoft is donating 500 patents to start-ups that are part of a non-profit organisation called License On Transfer (LOT) Network.

Launched in 2018, the “Azure IP Advantage” programme protects users of Microsoft’s cloud computing service — Azure — against patent trolls.

Keeping in line with the intention of the programme, LOT Network protects companies against patent trolls by giving them access to a wide library of patents from its nearly 400 member companies including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix and Uber among others.

“We want to help the LOT Network grow its network of start-ups and to provide an incentive we are going to provide these patents to them,” TechCrunch quoted Erich Andersen, Corporate Vice President (CVP) and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft, as saying on Thursday.

Microsoft's building.
The office building of Microsoft. Pixabay

However, for any start-up to qualify for getting a patent granted to LOT Network, the company is required to meet a $1,000 per month Azure spend and Microsoft would check the start-up’s last three monthly Azure bills.

“Qualified start-ups who join the LOT Network can acquire Microsoft patents as part of their free membership and as Andersen stressed, the start-ups will own them outright,” the report said.

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The LOT network will be able to provide its start-up members with up to three patents from this collection.

“The idea is that these start-ups come from a diverse set of industry sectors. The hope we have is that when they approach LOT, they’ll find patents among those 500 that are going to be interesting to basically almost any company that might want a foundational set of patents for their business,” Andersen added. (IANS)

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Here’s Why Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai Believes That Artificial Intelligence Needs To Be Regulated

Advanced AI which is beyond chat bots will soon be used to manipulate social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

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Sundar
The Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai stressed that "international alignment will be critical to making global standards work" on AI. Wikimedia Commons

Joining Microsoft President Brad Smith and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday called for new regulations for Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying the only question now is how to approach it.

Although new regulation is needed, “a cautious approach is required that might not see significant controls placed on AI,” Pichai who was last month took over as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in an editorial piece in The Financial Times.

“There is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. It is too important not to. The only question is how to approach it”.

“Companies such as ours cannot just build promising new technology and let market forces decide how it will be used. It is equally incumbent on us to make sure that technology is harnessed for good and available to everyone,” Pichai wrote.

According to CNET, the timing of the editorial coincides with a big push from Google to reveal some of the results of its own work in AI and bring tools it has developed out into the world.

The Alphabet CEO stressed that “international alignment will be critical to making global standards work” on AI.

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Joining Microsoft President Brad Smith and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday called for new regulations for Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying the only question now is how to approach it. Wikimedia Commons

We need to take a “principled approach to applying AI, said the company, while offering Google’s “expertise, experience and tools.”

“We need to be clear-eyed about what could go wrong,” he said.

His comments come as lawmakers and governments globally are considering to limit the use of AI in fields such as face recognition system – an issue close to Microsoft President Brad Smith’s heart who has often criticized the technology, urging governments to enact legislation regarding the technology.

“Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues,” said Smith.

Advanced AI which is beyond chat bots will soon be used to manipulate social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned recently.

In his famous debate with former Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, Musk entered into a lassic argument over the capabilities of emerging technologies like AI.

Sundar
Although new regulation is needed, “a cautious approach is required that might not see significant controls placed on AI,” Sundar Pichai who was last month took over as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in an editorial piece in The Financial Times. Pixabay

Musk said that computers will one day surpass humans in “every single way”. He has predicted that a single company that develops “God-like super intelligence” might achieve world domination.

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If not regulated or controlled soon, AI could become an “immortal dictator” and there will be no escape for humans, the SpaceX CEO had warned. (IANS)