Microsoft’s R&D labs in Cambridge, UK (the first Microsoft set up outside of the US) are 20 years old this year, and Microsoft is unveiling some other new programs
in the area — including a new Microsoft Research AI group; a new “Aether Advisory Panel” (an acronym for “AI and Ethics in Engineering and Research”) that will
report directly to senior management; a new partnership with the Amsterdam Machine Learning Lab; and a few new experimental products that are using AI, such as a new
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A lot of AI applications are being created to replace or improve IT services that already exist — for example, see Gong.io, an AI-based platform that helps improve
sales conversions; or AI-based cybersecurity services; or robots for factories. The idea behind AI for Earth is a little different. Microsoft is looking for projects
that are using AI to find solutions to problems that have yet to be solved Cloud Monitoring.
This is an interesting and important twist on the AI challenge: many worry about how AI will replace humans, and/or will quietly help evade ethical and privacy
oversights — “societal angst” as Microsoft’s Emma Williams, the GM of Bing Studio and its “EQ Expert”, put it (EQ: emotional quotient).
The AI for Earth program, in that regard, has a few of purposes: not just to get closer to startups that Microsoft might want to acquire or invest in the AI field
and to get those startups and organizations to build on Microsoft platforms; but also to help Microsoft position itself as a responsible player in this space who
wants to use AI for wider and sustainable benefits. “We are committed to a very principled approach to AI Derma 21 hard sell,” Williams said today.