Microsoft has announced new technology tools to make artificial intelligence (AI) reach people’s daily lives using cloud computing capabilities and connected devices.
“We’re infusing AI into every product and service we offer,” said Microsoft vice president Harry Shum at the group’s developer conference in Seattle. “We are building the building blocks for the current wave of discoveries in AI over two decades ago,” he added.
Microsoft’s research has deepened in areas such as machine learning, voice recognition, and enabling robots to recognize what they “see.”
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who opened the Seattle conference, highlighted the need to build trust in technology, saying new applications should avoid future dystopics feared by some.
Microsoft executives used demonstrations to provide a glimpse into the near future in which hosted online artificial intelligence works with internet-connected devices such as construction site cameras to alert workers about hazards, tools available, or unauthorized activities.
All of these technologies that combine object-bound servers, often very distant, are called “edge computing”.
According to Nadella, about 500 million of these connected devices work today with the Windows 10 operating system developed by the group. Office 365 software has about 100 million commercial users per month, and the Cortana digital assistant is used by 140 million people.
“The future is a smart cloud,” said Nadella, predicting a future in which digital assistants hosted in cloud computing will track device users on the device.