Changing the game: Harnessing the power of AI today

 |   Peter Maquera, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Philippines

people collaberating in meeting

Read this piece as published by The Philippine Star.

The world is abuzz with Artificial intelligence (AI). It’s reshaping the world as we know it, accelerating innovation and growth right before our eyes, and this will only continue in the months to come.

In the last month, we launched the new AI-powered Bing into preview for more than one million people in 169 countries, and expanded the new Bing to the Bing and Edge mobile apps as well as introduced it into Skype.

From there, we took the next major step forward and combined the new AI-powered Bing with the Windows PC, giving hundreds of millions of Windows 11 users access to this incredible new technology to search, chat, answer questions and generate content from right on their Windows taskbar.

Every day, new AI platforms are being launched by companies from every corner of the planet, and the subsequent excitement show no signs of abating anytime soon. Rightfully so, people and organizations of all sizes everywhere are asking one question: ‘how can we use this?’

The AI Effect

There is no denying AI’s impact on modern society, especially as the technology becomes more accessible to all.

A quick search on the new Bing tells us that AI can transform industries and sectors by improving efficiency, productivity, quality, customer experience, innovation, and decision making. The search engine even goes as far as listing examples of its impact across industries: healthcare, retail, manufacturing, startups, and the public sector. And if you thought that was the end of it, Bing tops off your search with a length list of reference links for additional reading. All in a matter of seconds.

This is just the start for us. We are working to redefine every software category by incorporating AI capabilities across our consumer and enterprise solutions to ensure the benefits of this technology are broadly shared with the world. Our multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI aims to significantly expand our efforts, powered by Microsoft Azure, the most complete and trusted cloud on the planet. In the next phase of our partnership, we aim to commercialize advanced AI technologies, providing developers and organizations across industries with access to the best AI infrastructure and models such as Microsoft’s Azure AI Services.

All eyes are naturally on ChatGPT, but there’s so much more to be excited about.

Among the many models we’re developing with OpenAI are three generative AIs that are very exciting: DALL-E, which is a set of models that can generate or manipulate images from natural language prompts; Codex, can understand and generate code, including translating natural language to code; and GPT-3, which is for text completion, a set of models that can understand and generate natural language responses—the AI currently in our Bing search engine, Edge Browser and Windows 11 platform. GPT-3 is similar to ChatGPT but vastly more advanced.

These technologies and many others are also already in solutions that are available for businesses and organizations today.

Last week, we announced AI product updates across our business applications portfolio, including the launch of the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot and the availability in preview of ChatGPT in Azure OpenAI Service. Azure OpenAI Service is a platform that helps developers and organizations use advanced AI models create AI-enabled applications with ease and flexibility.

Microsoft Teams Premium integrates AI to offer features such as Intelligent Recap, which saves time spent reviewing meeting recordings and AI-generated notes which can automatically generate key points and takeaways from every meeting.

We’re empowering developers with GitHub Copilot, an AI that auto-fills code, highlights errors and even learns its users’ coding styles over time.

Finally, there’s Viva Sales, an AI-embedded CRM companion application that acts like a sales coach to move deals along with recommendations, reminders and suggested email content for a variety of scenarios such as replying to an inquiry or creating a proposal.

The future of responsible AI

AI as we know it represents the most transformative technology of our lifetime so far. A powerful tool for advancing critical thinking and stimulating creative expression, it speeds up our ability to express what we learn more quickly, and it’s going to do all these things better and better in the coming months and years.

So, what does this change? Likely, everything. Because, like no technology before it, these AI advances augment humanity’s ability to think, reason and learn. This offers enormous opportunities to empower and transform the world. AI will improve productivity and stimulate economic growth. It will reduce the drudgery in many jobs and, when used effectively, it will help people be more creative in their work and impactful in their lives. The ability to discover new insights in large data sets will drive new advances in medicine, new frontiers in science, new improvements in business, and new and stronger defenses for cyber and national security—to name a few.

However, this new world of opportunities also creates a profound sense of risk. One that we intend to meet responsibly and ethically.

Our work in AI extends over more than 30 years, since the establishment of its science research arm Microsoft Research in 1991. AI is deep in our DNA, and underpinning all our efforts is our commitment to building AI systems and products that are trustworthy, safe, and responsible by design.

We’ve been working to build a responsible AI infrastructure for the past six years in tandem with similar work in the cybersecurity, privacy, and digital safety spaces. The launch of the Aether Committee marked the beginning of our focus on addressing AI issues and adopting responsible AI principles. Since then, we have created the Office of Responsible AI to coordinate responsible AI governance, as well as developed and operationalized our Responsible AI Standard, a framework for translating our high-level principles into actionable guidance for our teams.  This sets out how we will build AI systems using practical approaches for identifying, measuring, and mitigating harms ahead of time, and ensuring that controls are engineered into our systems from the outset. Along the way, we have worked and learned together with the equally committed responsible AI experts at OpenAI.

The rapid growth of AI has led to unprecedented opportunities across almost every industry, and the technology provides more and more ways to bring people together. Microsoft is committed to utilizing this technology to fulfill our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Artificial intelligence is here, and it’s real—it’s transforming our world and enabling more profound progress in nearly every imaginable field of human endeavor—and there’s much more ahead of us.

About Microsoft  

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.