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Microsoft Will Become an AI First Industry,Will Improve Lives, Says CEO

"It's happening because of the ability to provision lots of compute capability, to have lots of data, and these new techniques of algorithm promise around deep neural net in particular," Nadella said

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Microsoft doesn't use customers' data for profit: Satya Nadella. (Wikimedia Commons)
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Recent advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have been “pretty stunning” but what the humanity is going to see soon will be even more profound across the spectrum, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has stressed.

Addressing thousands of partners at the ‘Microsoft Inspire’ event here on Wednesday, Nadella said that the potential is for us to be able to turn every industry into an AI-first industry, be it retail, healthcare or agriculture.

“Microsoft has been working on fundamental AI breakthroughs for over 20 years and some of the advances, especially as measured by our ability to have human parity in a lot of these perception and language capabilities is pretty stunning.

“It’s happening because of the ability to provision lots of compute capability, to have lots of data, and these new techniques of algorithm promise around deep neural net in particular,” Nadella said.

“For us to be able to turn every industry into an AI-first industry, whether it’s retail or healthcare or agriculture, we want to be able to make sure that they can take their data, in a security-privacy preserving way, convert that into AI capability that they get the return on. That’s really the objective,” the Microsoft CEO emphasised.

Wherever there is data, compute will migrate to data.

“So we are going and taking Azure to Azure Stack, to Azure IoT Edge, to Azure Sphere. This is that one ubiquitous distributed computing fabric. One programming model that is event-driven, serverless, so you can write an application that truly works across all of this,” Nadella explained.

“As we look forward, the opportunity for us to serve our customers in this new era of the Intelligent Cloud and the Intelligent Edge is far greater,” he added.

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Microsoft has been working on fundamental AI breakthroughs for over 20 years .

According to him, Microsoft is going to infuse everything with AI.

“It’s going to have perception capability, language capability and autonomy that’s going to be built into the applications going forward.

“Autonomy is not just about a few self-driving projects. This is about autonomy everywhere,” the Microsoft CEO added.

Walmart is using Azure as well as Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365. The cash-and-carry major announced a five-year strategic partnership with Microsoft on July 17.

Walmart will now embark on a broad set of Cloud innovation projects that leverage Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data platform solutions for a wide range of external customer-facing services and internal business applications.

“They are innovating in retail. They have an amazing presence in offline. And they have good momentum in their online efforts with Jeff and Walmart.com,” Nadella told the gathering.

Also Read-Microsoft Launches Affordable ‘Surface Go’ Tablet

He said that Microsoft 365 will help customers have people-centred experiences rather than device-centred experiences.

The tech giant which has touched $800 billion valuation for the first time, was set to release its quarterly results late on Thursday. (IANS LIVE)

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Microsoft Wants Regulation For Facial Recognition Technology To Start in 2019

Microsoft is one of several companies playing a leading role in developing facial recognition technology

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A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge. VOA

Given the potential for abuse of the fast advancing facial recognition technology, governments across the world need to start adopting laws to regulate this technology in 2019, Microsoft President Brad Smith has said.

“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,” warned Smith in a blog post on Thursday.

“The time for action has arrived,” he said, adding that the industry must also exercise restraint while using this technology.

Speaking of the benefits of the technology, the Microsoft President mentioned that police in New Delhi recently trialled facial recognition technology and identified almost 3,000 missing children in four days.

Similarly, historians in the US have used the technology to identify the portraits of unknown soldiers in Civil War photographs taken in the 1860s.

Researchers successfully used facial recognition software to diagnose a rare, genetic disease in Africans, Asians and Latin Americans.

And in October, the National Australia Bank designed a proof of concept to enable customers to withdraw money from an Automatic Teller Machine using facial recognition and a PIN.

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Regulation for facial recognition technology must start in 2019: Microsoft. Pixabay

But at the same time, the potential for abuse of this technology is huge, Smith said, adding that certain uses of this technology could lead to biased decisions and discrimination.

Moreover, the widespread use of this technology can lead to new intrusions into people’s privacy, he said.

“The use of facial recognition technology by a government for mass surveillance can encroach on democratic freedoms,” Smith added.

Also Read- Fujifilm Launches its Medium Format Mirrorless Camera in India

“While we believe that new laws and regulations are indispensable, we also recognise that they are not a substitute for the responsibility that needs to be exercised by tech companies,” he said.

Microsoft is one of several companies playing a leading role in developing facial recognition technology.

The company, Smith said, would start adopting new principles to manage the issues surrounding facial recognition technology in the first quarter of 2019. (IANS)