Microsoft is betting big on ‘democratising’ artificial intelligence (AI) and plans to make it ‘available to all’ to improve lives and transform organizations.
Reducing the risk of accidents, predicting the behavior of users, detecting the disease and helping the farms to increase the crop fields are some of the advantages of AI-based innovations. “Is AI a product? Is it something that would be harnessed by some of the biggest companies in the world? Who is AI for?” said Anant Maheshwari, president, Microsoft India, in his keynote address at the company’s ‘AI for All’ conference here. “And one of the core perspectives we have had as a company is to democratize AI and bring it for everyone,” he said.
Microsoft is helping more than 650 Indian-based partners to build innovative solutions with the help of its cognitive services, AI, machine learning and IoT solutions. The company and its partner firms have deployed AI solutions in different fields such as agriculture, retail, e-commerce, manufacturing, healthcare, education, and BFSI. For instance, Flipkart is using AI and analytical capabilities in Microsoft cloud computing Azure to deliver a customized experience to its users.
Ola uses Microsoft’s IoT and AI solutions to improve the experience of its passengers and drivers. The telematics platform transforms the car into a high-performance intelligent vehicle, improving engine and driver performance. It also enables to predict breakdowns, make smart navigation and enhance security and safety.
Microsoft has signed an agreement with a Bengaluru based healthcare startup Forus, on retinal imaging devices. It would use AI and IoT for early detections of eye diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and help in reducing blindness.
“AI is going to be very important because when you can give the response to somebody [patient] immediately, the chances of he taking the whole thing more seriously is very high,” said K. Chandrasekhar, co-founder, and CEO of Forus. He said that India had only 20,000 ophthalmologists for the growing population of 1.3 billion.
Microsoft also said that as we are entering into the world of AI with all the ingredients like big data, computing power, and cloud technologies together, the company is taking the consequences of AI very seriously. “We don’t want to unleash it, we want to be very mindful of it,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president, business development at Microsoft.
“As AI is introduced in our daily lives, we want people to know what is going on with their data,” said Ms. Johnson. “If anything should go wrong, you can’t say ‘oh the machine did it’ that just is not an acceptable answer. You have to take accountability for it.”