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Satya Nadella: Robots Won’t Make People Jobless

The Microsoft tool has the potential to help businesses make use of AI without inadvertently discriminating against certain groups of people

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"Autonomy is not just about a few self-driving projects. This is about autonomy everywhere," the Microsoft CEO. (Wikimedia Commons)
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Even in a “runaway Artificial Intelligence (AI)” scenario, robots will not render people completely jobless, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told The Sunday Telegraph in an interview.

People will always want a job as it gives them “dignity”, Nadella said, adding that the focus should instead be on applying AI technology ethically.

“What I think needs to be done in 2018 is more dialogue around the ethics, the principles that we can use for the engineers and companies that are building AI, so that the choices we make don’t cause us to create systems with bias … that’s the tangible thing we should be working on,” he was quoted as saying.

According to a report in MIT Technology Review on May 25, Microsoft is building a tool to automate the identification of bias in a range of different AI algorithms.

Robots won't render people jobless
Robots won’t render people jobless. Pixabay

The Microsoft tool has the potential to help businesses make use of AI without inadvertently discriminating against certain groups of people.

Although Microsoft’s new tool may not eliminate the problem of bias that may creep into Machine-Learning models altogether, it will help AI researchers catch more instances of unfairness, Rich Caruna, a senior researcher at Microsoft who is working on the bias-detection dashboard, was quoted as saying by MIT Technology Review.

“Of course, we can’t expect perfection — there’s always going to be some bias undetected or that can’t be eliminated — the goal is to do as well as we can,” he said.

Also Read: New gen robots to refuel and repair friendly satellites

In the interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Nadella also said that as Microsoft’s business model was based on customers paying for services, he believed the company was on “the right side of history”.

“Our business model is based on our customers being successful, and if they are successful they will pay us. So we are not one of these transaction-driven or ad-driven or marketplace-driven economies,” the Microsoft chief was quoted as saying. (IANS)

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Why Robots are Never Going to Fully Replace Teachers; Find out here!

It was found that robots are still insufficient to understand spoken utterances from young children

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Robots
Robots will never replace teachers: Study. Pixabay

While social robots have the potential to become part of the educational infrastructure just like paper, white boards and computer tablets, they can never fully replace teachers, a new study suggests.

The findings showed that social robots are proving effective in the teaching of certain narrow subjects, such as vocabulary or prime numbers.

But, current technical limitations — particularly around speech recognition and the ability for social interaction — mean their role will largely be confined to that of teaching assistants or tutors, at least for the foreseeable future.

“In recent years, scientists have started to build robots for the classroom — not the robot kits used to learn about technology and mathematics, but social robots that can actually teach,” said lead author Tony Belpaeme, Professor from Britain’s University of Plymouth.

“This is because pressures on teaching budgets, and calls for more personalised teaching, have led to a search for technological solutions,” he added.

Robots
The findings showed that social robots are proving effective in the teaching of certain narrow subjects, such as vocabulary or prime numbers. Pixabay

According to Belpaeme, robots can help free up precious time for teachers, allowing them to focus on what people still do best — provide a comprehensive, empathic, and rewarding educational experience.

For the study, appearing in the Science Robotics, the team involved a review of more than 100 published articles, which have shown robots to be effective at increasing outcomes, largely because of their physical presence.

They found that robots are still insufficient to understand spoken utterances from young children.

Moreover, introducing social robots into the school curriculum would also pose significant logistical challenges and might in fact carry risks, with some children being seen to rely too heavily on the help offered by robots rather than simply using them when they are in difficulty.

“Next to the practical considerations of introducing robots in education, there are also ethical issues. How far do we want the education of our children to be delegated to machines? Overall, learners are positive about their experiences, but parents and teaching staff adopt a more cautious attitude,” Belpaeme said. (IANS)

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