LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Microsoft pivots to cloud & AI; also starts work on AI ethics

It’s a natural progression from big data to AI. Also from thinking about the broad social implications of big data to thinking about ethical issues of AI. So we’re happy that Microsoft is putting a focus on AI ethics.

The formal relegation of the Windows franchise, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, “has been a long time coming.” And such a transition, Mr. Cusumano said, “probably had to be done by a second or third generation of leader.” Mr. Nadella succeeded Steven A. Ballmer, the longtime ally and friend of Microsoft’s co-founder, Bill Gates.

Beyond the organizational changes, Mr. Nadella said in his email that Microsoft’s research leader, Harry Shum, and president, Brad Smith, have established a panel, the A.I. and Ethics in Engineering and Research Committee, to increase the odds that A.I. technology “benefits the broader society.”

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