Satya Nadella believes that companies, including Microsoft, must "eschew artificial intelligence systems that replace people instead of maximizing their time". The CEO of the Redmond giant thinks that companies must be wary of trying to replace employees with machines but, rather AI must enable them to be more productive.
Speaking at the DLD conference in Munich, Nadella was quoted as 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."
Microsoft has been on a hot streak lately, especially with AI. On a mission to 'democratize AI', the company formed an AI and Research group in the latter half of last year. More recently, it acquired Maluuba- a deep learning startup from Montreal.
But, Nadella isn't resting on his laurels. In his fourth year as the CEO of Microsoft, he has achieved a great deal but he maintains that its not about the success of a single product, but cultivating the internal culture. He explains:
"There’s a thin line between hubris and confidence. Always there is risk of hubris coming back, missing trends. The only long-term indicator of success is, ‘how good is your internal culture?’" ..."What I’ve learned if anything in three years as CEO is, it’s not about celebrating one product. That, to me, is the sign of a company that’s built to last. In tech it’s even more harsh."
He also urged that while competitors have been doing "great things", Microsoft is differentiating itself by allowing developers access to the same tools that they use to "create their own intelligence".
Of cloud concerns, he urged the incoming Trump administration, European Union and China to weigh issues including the balance between security and data privacy. He said:
"We have business in each one of these countries. These countries are going to have to work together and there are rightful concerns each one of these constituents has."
Nadella is one of the roughly 3000 businessmen, scholars, and politicians attending the World Economic Forum at Davos starting today.