It’s impressive. It’s exciting. That massive creation and diffusion of information can be credited all the way back to the printing press, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said yesterday at Microsoft Ignite 2016. This magical technology took the world from 30,000 to 12 million books in 50 years, he said on stage at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
Information has exploded. Our attention and time, on the other hand, is still limited. The world needs another magical technology to empower people and organizations to use this information and achieve more.
That magical solution is AI, said Satya, and Microsoft aims to take AI everywhere we are.
[Related: (SlideShare) ‘Mobile’ Is Not a Smartphone]
Bringing AI to the Masses
Handwriting and facial recognition features make Windows 10 the most intelligent Microsoft operating system (OS) to date, but the tech giant’s not stopping there. To “democratize” AI, Microsoft will ramp up their efforts on:
- Cortana: The digital assistant already has 133 million monthly active users, who have asked 12 billion questions. Software development kits (SDKs) allow developers to infuse Cortana with even more intelligence, said Satya.
- Intelligent apps: Microsoft wants to make every app you use more intelligent. You already see the fruits of those efforts in the SwiftKey smart keyboard app (which has saved users 100,000 years of keyboard entry time, he said), Office 365 My Analytics and Skype Translator.
- Intelligent frameworks for developers: Microsoft wants to empower developers to create apps with advanced analytics, bots and other cognitive services. Satya said more than 1 billion developers have already leveraged their cognitive APIs, and 45,000 developers have taken advantage of their bot framework.
- Their AI supercomputer: This is Microsoft’s core infrastructure for intelligence.
What Does Microsoft’s AI-Powered World Look Like?
Here’s what some of Microsoft’s customers have already accomplished with AI:
- Uber drivers can now snap selfies to verify their identity, making car riding safer for customers, thanks to a facial recognition app that just launched this week.
- Lowe’s is piloting a mixed reality retail experience for “no regret” remodels with Microsoft HoloLens. In an impressive on-stage demo, the company demonstrated how stores could match customers to products with cognitive capabilities. Customers can also visualize products in a room using the HoloLens. The resulting heat map and sentiment analysis helps store associates personalize the customer experience even more.
- Volvo uses AI to detect drivers’ emotional states and analyze driving behaviors to decrease distracted driving.
- Manufacturers, healthcare organizations, airlines, banks—more than 10 industries are already reshaping the employee and customer experience with AI, according to Microsoft.
“It’s never about our technology,” said Satya. “It’s about your passion.” What problem will you solve or industry will you reshape, he asked the 20,000 attendees.
Did you miss our big news yesterday at Microsoft Ignite? Read about VMware’s free Windows 10 migration assessment tool here.