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Artificial Intelligence

Microsoft's Nadella wants to pilot an AI-shaped world

Since becoming CEO of Microsoft four years ago, Satya Nadella has attempted to make up for lost time, taking the software giant deeper into growth areas such as mobile, edge computing and cloud, rather than focusing on protecting its gravy-train revenue streams in Windows operating systems and productivity applications. At a London conference this morning, Nadella set out his vision for Microsoft to take a leadership position in another fast-changing area – artificial intelligence.

“AI is the runtime that will shape everything we do,” Nadella said to a crowd of customers, partners and others at the Millbank Tower.

He demonstrated a meeting where notes were faithfully transcribed – despite extensive use of jargon and attendees talking over each other – with action points collated and the ability to share and manipulate 3D rendered models via Microsoft’s HoloLens technology. He also called attention to the way that the old world of desktop PCs and keyboards and mice was being replaced with one where multiple devices interact via numerous input types to create new usage scenarios such as being understood regardless of language spoken.

“The interface layer is profoundly being reshaped,” Nadella said. “We’re talking about all these devices being there at different points in time with speech, with vision, with translation.”

He added that his aspiration was to see AI become an integral and invisible part of the world, augmenting and enhancing human actions.

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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Editorial Consultant for IDG Connect

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