Microsoft’s Nadella talks about how artificial intelligence can be used for good

Artificial intelligence (AI) is making its way from science fiction to reality, in applications like self-driving cars, personal AI systems like Cortana, Siri, and Google Assistant, and home assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. AI is also under some pressure from people who fear its impact on society in terms of privacy and job security.

A number of efforts are underway to both ensure that AI is developed with society’s concerns in mind and to help assuage those concerns as more and more people are exposed to AI in their daily lives. Today, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke about a number of AI concerns during an interview at the DLD conference in Munich, as Bloomberg reports.

Microsoft is, of course, one of the leaders in applying AI in real-life applications, and so far the company is focusing on how AI can help make us more productive. That’s in line with the company’s “cloud-first, mobile-first” productivity solutions strategy, and it’s apparent in a number of Microsoft initiatives including the most obvious example, the personal AI assistant Cortana.

Nadella outlined Microsoft’s objectives with AI, saying, “The fundamental need of every person is to be able to use their time more effectively, not to say, ‘let us replace you.’ This year and the next will be the key to democratizing AI. The most exciting thing to me is not just our own promise of AI as exhibited by these products, but to take that capability and put it in the hands of every developer and every organization.”

According to Nadella, Microsoft’s objective with regard to AI is to use it to enable developers and others to use the same AI tools that Microsoft is building into its own products. AI can help us be more productive in getting things done but shouldn’t replace us. AI shouldn’t just be “parlor tricks” stuffed into increasingly massive systems that don’t “preserve workers’ dignity.”

AI is a focus of a number of leading technology companies, including Amazon with its Web Services offering AI for businesses and Google’s Translate service that uses neural networks to provide more accurate and lifelike translation. According to Nadella, Microsoft is also focused on business-oriented AI via its Azure cloud computing products and tools, but has a particular perspective. “We should be competitive there and we should be pushing there and we will be doing that,” Nadella said. “But what’s Microsoft’s unique contribution beyond doing that is democratizing the access to the same tools that we use for ourselves so that every developer can use them to create their own intelligence.”

It’s this process of “democratization” that Nadella purports will allow Microsoft to avoid some of the potential pitfalls of AI that have some people so worried. That’s likely a good thing, because it’s clear that Microsoft has no intention of slowing down with its investments in making AI a larger part of our lives.

Features

From picking to pollinating, agribots are pushing farming into the future

Farming is becoming increasingly challenging. To deal with environmental pollution, labor shortage, and other major issues, agricultural scientists are turning to robots and AI.
Mobile

How to improve your Android privacy

If you have an Android device and you’re concerned about your privacy, then we have a few tips for you. Learn about the settings you can change to improve your Android privacy and safeguard your personal data.
Smart Home

Hurom’s latest H-AI Slow Juicer can feed itself and save you the trouble

If you won't eat your fruits and vegetables, Hurom is making it easier than ever to drink them. Here to ensure that you're getting your daily dose of vitamins and minerals is the new H-AI Slow Juicer.
Mobile

These are the best portable chargers for quickly juicing your device

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Mobile

Visual snapshots on Google Assistant provides your day at a glance

Google's artificially intelligent bot, Google Assistant, is available on smart home speakers, smart home devices, iOS and Android phones, and it can do a whole lot of work on your behalf. Here are all of its features.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Mobile

Google Assistant’s new Visual Snapshot tab prepares you for the day

Ever wish you could get an instant update of your day at a glance? Google Assistant now can show you upcoming travel plans, deliveries, bills and more as a part of the new Visual Snapshot feature. It's available on Android and iOS.
Gaming

The best Xbox One games

More than four years into its lifespan, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Middle-Earth: Shadow of War,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Mobile

What is Android? All your questions about the operating system answered

Despite being on more than 2 billion phones, it's still possible to be unsure about parts of Android. What is stock Android, what's Oreo, and should you know about Android Go? We've got your answers.
Mobile

Your 5G Samsung phone will have a massive amount of RAM

Samsung has developed an 8GB LPDDR5 RAM module for use in smartphones, and it's designed to help make 5G phones with greater artificial intelligence features a reality, while also being faster and more power efficient.
Web

Looking for a deal or job without Craigslist? These are your 6 best alternatives

Whether you are tired of Craigslist or simply looking for more exposure on the dining room table you're trying to sell, here are some more websites like Craigslist that might have what you're looking for.
Android Army

Google I/O 2018

Like Microsoft BUILD and Apple's WWDC — is Google’s premiere event for developers. Between May 8 and 10, thousands descended on the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, where Google held keynotes and developer sessions…
Mobile

Ironically, tech will save us from the horror of Cell Phone Courtesy Month

July is Cell Phone Courtesy Month, and while we could probably all do with being a little more considerate with our phone use, advancements in tech have the potential to end us staring at a little screen when we shouldn’t.
Computing

Alexa for PC invades your notebook, signs a truce with Cortana

We took a look at Alexa for PC running on the first notebook to ship with Amazon's digital assistant pre-installed, the Acer Spin 5 convertible 2-in-1. Does she add value to the Windows 10 platform?
Movies & TV

First photos from 'Star Trek: Discovery' season 2 debut during Comic-Con

The crew of the U.S.S. Discovery will return for more adventures on CBS All Access in the near future. Here's everything we know about Star Trek: Discovery season 2, from the cast and themes to the season premiere.
Computing

Turn your Surface Pro into a cheap Surface Studio with Kensington’s new dock

Want a Surface Studio but don’t want to pay the premium price? Kensington has a new docking station built for the cheaper Surface Pro that essentially holds Microsoft’s detachable in an all-in-one-PC-style configuration.
Computing

AMD’s Ryzen desktop CPUs for 2019 may double the core count

Although we’re waiting for AMD to release new low-end second-generation Ryzen CPUs, AMD appears to be betting big on 2019. If current rumors are true, Ryzen 3 mainstream desktop CPUs will sport up to 16 cores using its Zen 2 design.
Home Theater

HDMI 2.0b is a whole lot more than just a connection to your TV

HDMI 2.0b is the backbone for many of the latest updates in 4K UHD technology. And while a new cable standard can often involve a bunch of changes for consumers, that is not the case this time around.
Gaming

Want to play Minecraft with friends? Here's how to start your own server

Whether you're hosting a server for a few friends or launching a massive effort to recreate your favorite show's world, you've got options for hosting your own Minecraft Server.
Computing

Microsoft stops a Russian attempt at hacking 2018 midterm elections

Microsoft discovered that the Russian GRU military intelligence agency attempted to hack the 2018 U.S. midterm elections using similar phishing tactics previously employed to hack the 2016 presidential election.
Web

Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Facebook team up on new data transfer project

Some of the largest tech companies in the world have teamed up to make data portability a little easier. The initiative is called the Data Transfer Project, and the likes of Google, Twitter, Microsoft, and Facebook are all on board.
Product Review

The ZenBook S doesn't like to show off, but it's one of the best PCs you can buy

Asus has designed a little jewel of a notebook. It looks great, feels solid in the hand, and incorporates several thoughtful design touches that elevate it from pedestrian to premier.
Computing

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops - including our top pick, the Asus ZenBook UX330UA - will get the job done without digging too deep into your pockets.