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Restricting AI Research with China Harmful: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

If those tariffs are implemented, virtually all Chinese imports would be subject to punitive taxes

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China is a leading force in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and blocking AI research with the country will do more harm than good for humanity, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said.

In an interview with the BBC, Nadella said that despite national security concerns, backing out of China would “hurt more” than it solved.

“A lot of AI research happens in the open and the world benefits from knowledge being open,” he said.

Quoting Microsoft President Brad Smith, Nadella said: “We know any technology can be a tool or a weapon. The question is, how do you ensure that these weapons don’t get created? I think there are multiple mechanisms.”

Microsoft Research Asia, the company’s fundamental research arm in the Asia Pacific region, was founded in Beijing in November 1998.

The media reported in April alleged that Microsoft has been collaborating with researchers linked to a Chinese military-backed university on AI. The research covered several AI topics, such as face analysis and machine reading.

Microsoft defended the research, saying that it was part of a worldwide effort by its scientists “to work with their international counterparts on cutting-edge technology issues”, reported the Financial Times.

Microsoft
Microsoft doesn’t use customers’ data for profit: Satya Nadella. (Wikimedia Commons)

According to Nadella, they have control on who gets to use their technology.

“And we do have principles. Beyond how we build it, how people use it is something that we control through Terms of Use. And we are constantly evolving the terms of use,” he added.

The International Monetary Fund has said that the trade war between the US and China was triggering a global economic slowdown.

On September 1, the US followed through on plans to impose a 15 per cent tariff on certain Chinese consumer-goods imports including apparel, electronics, footwear and dairy products, that were valued at around $112 billion in 2018.

Those tariffs were in addition to 25 per cent tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports that began to be imposed on July 2018.

Also Read: iPhone 11 Pro: Seamless Productivity with Creativity (Tech Review)

US President Donald Trump’s administration said that it would wait until December 15 to impose tariffs, now set at 15 per cent, on certain mass-consumption products imported from China, including smartphones, laptops, video games and toys.

If those tariffs are implemented, virtually all Chinese imports would be subject to punitive taxes. (IANS)

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iPhone 11 Takes Apple Ahead of Microsoft in $1-tn Market cap: Report

Apple is in for a bumper festive season sales and the iPhone 11 series -- starting from Rs 58,900 - has registered very strong demand from the consumers in the country

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apple, software, updates, iOS
An Apple company logo is seen behind tree branches outside an Apple store in Beijing, Dec. 14, 2018. VOA

The pent-up demand for its newly-released iPhone 11 series has made Apple the most valuable company in the US again, ahead of Microsoft with a $1.07 trillion market cap.

Sailing through the US-China trade war that may impact its devices too, Apple stock has reached $236.21 to beat the previous high set just over a year ago.

The news that Chinese and American trade negotiators have reached a preliminary agreement aimed at easing the ongoing trade war between the two nations after holding a new round of high-level talks in Washington, DC, also helped Apple as a proposed 15 per cent tariff looms on $156 billion in Chinese goods, including smartphones and other consumer goods, from December 15.

At the moment, only two US companies — Apple and Microsoft — are in the $1 trillion market cap bracket, with Jeff Bezos-led Amazon inching closer.

Apple shares are about five times higher than they were when Tim Cook became CEO of the company in August 2011, reports Barron’s.

The rally owes partly to a report by the Nikkei Asian Review claiming that Apple is ramping up production of its three iPhone models by as much as 8 million units or 10 per cent of its production.

FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash.
FILE – Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. VOA

Apple’s weak rally in Q4 2018 was largely driven by concern over iPhone demand. The tables have turned, and this time Apple is set for a record sales riding on aggressive pricing and attractive discounts in countries like India.

The Cupertino-based iPhone maker is expected to report Q4 results on October 30.

The iPhone 11’s pricing strategy has worked well for the consumers in India too as the devices went out-of-stock at both Amazon India and Flipkart in just three days after the pre-booking was thrown open on September 20.

Also Read: Oracle Ensures Keeping Sensitive Data within Boundaries of India

The increase in orders appears to validate Apple CEO Tim Cook’s new strategy of enticing budget-conscious consumers with cheaper models amid the weakening world economy.

Apple is in for a bumper festive season sales and the iPhone 11 series — starting from Rs 58,900 – has registered very strong demand from the consumers in the country. (IANS)