Microsoft AI Head Expresses Confidence in AI’s Growth
The head of artificial intelligence at Microsoft, Eric Boyd, has reaffirmed the company’s commitment to advancing large AI models, dismissing concerns about the technology’s rapid progress and potential risks. Boyd believes that AI has the power to drive human productivity and foster global economic growth, making it unwise to disregard its potential.
Microsoft’s Investment in OpenAI and GPT4
In 2019, Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI, an artificial intelligence start-up. Through Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform, OpenAI developed GPT4, the most powerful “large language model” at that time. GPT4, which was publicly launched as ChatGPT, quickly found its way into Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Moreover, Microsoft integrated its conversational abilities into various software products like word processors and spreadsheets, introducing a virtual digital assistant called Copilot.
Redefining Human-Computer Interaction
Boyd clarifies that Microsoft’s vision for AI is not about a global takeover but rather aims to transform the relationship between people and computers. The company envisions redefining traditional interfaces, such as keyboards and mice, with a stronger emphasis on language-based interactions and productivity.
Addressing Concerns About AI’s Unpredictability and Productivity
While some leaders in the AI field express concerns about the rapid development of “generative AI” models and their lack of complete understanding, Boyd maintains that the current capabilities of language models like ChatGPT are often exaggerated. He asserts that AI lacks the capability to take over, as it primarily generates text as output. However, Boyd acknowledges the importance of addressing potential biases in AI models and ensuring their safe and responsible use.
Potential Risks and the Role of Regulation
Boyd highlights that the major concerns surrounding AI relate more to the potential misuse of the technology rather than its inherent safety. Microsoft has already made decisions, such as refraining from selling face recognition software to law enforcement agencies, demonstrating a responsible approach. Boyd suggests that society, regulators, and the industry must collectively consider appropriate and concerning applications of AI. He believes that regulation has a crucial role to play in shaping the future of the AI industry.
The Race to Develop AI Breakthroughs and the Need for Responsible Consideration
Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI has positioned the company as a frontrunner in the competitive race to bring AI breakthroughs to market. However, other tech giants like Google are also actively working towards AI advancements. As a result, society and regulators must expedite their efforts to define what safe AI entails and determine the parameters of its responsible development.