Satya Nadella on AI

Source: SlateSlate, Jun 2016

Computers may win at games, but imagine what’s possible when human and machine work together to solve society’s greatest challenges like beating disease, ignorance, and poverty.

Doing so, however, requires a bold and ambitious approach that goes beyond anything that can be achieved through incremental improvements to current technology. Now is the time for greater coordination and collaboration on A.I.

Ultimately, it’s not going to be about human vs. machine. We humans have creativity, empathy, emotion, physicality, and insight that can then be mixed with powerful A.I. computation—the ability to reason over large amounts of data and do pattern recognition more quickly—to help move society forward.

In software development terms A.I. is becoming a third “run time”—the next platform. In computer science, a run time is the system on top of which programmers build and execute applications.

We want not just intelligent machines but intelligible machines. Not artificial intelligence but symbiotic intelligence.

  • Creativity—One of the most coveted human skills is creativity, and this won’t change. Machines will continue to enrich and augment our creativity. In a recent interview, novelist Jhumpa Lahiri was asked why an author with such a special voice in English chose to create a new literary voice in Italian, her third language: “Isn’t that the point of creativity, to keep searching?”

We’re told that economic displacement will be so extreme that entrepreneurs, engineers, and economists should adopt a “new grand challenge”—a promise to design only technology that complements rather than substitutes human labor. In other words, we business leaders must replace our labor-saving and automation mindset with a maker-and-creation mindset.




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