Microsoft's Indian-origin chief, Satya Nadella, does not believe in the "fallacy" that robots will overtake human labour and is confident that artificial intelligence (AI) will solve more problems than cause them. The 50-year-old chief of the tech major expressed optimism in the impact of technology on human lives if applied ethically, Nadella said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph.
"I don't believe in that lump of labour fallacy, we don't know all the jobs that are going to be there," he said in reference to robots versus human labour.
If robots do replace humans, he says mechanisms such as universal basic income may be needed, drawing comparisons with the labour movement, but that humans will always need jobs.
"There is a certain amount of dignity to what is work so we need to have an incentive system," he said. "What I think needs to be done in 2018 is more dialogue around the ethics, the principles that we can use for the engineers and companies that are building AI, so that the choices we make do not cause us to create systems with bias that's the tangible thing we should be working on," he added. On Brexit, the Microsoft chief believes the UK has "great human capital, great industry, a great system" and therefore in the future it will continue to thrive, with some "turns".
The software giant, responsible for Windows, Office and Internet Explorer, has changed under Nadella's command, the newspaper notes. "What we have learned is to just be consistent in building trust and just making sure that you're not just measuring your success by your own success," Nadella says. On the current debate around privacy, he praised Microsoft's business model because it is based on customers being successful, and if they are successful they will pay. He said: "So we are not one of these transaction-driven or ad-driven or marketplace-driven economies.
Mohammad Monir Hossan
Senior Assistant Director (Division of Research)