Dorothee Ritz, General Manager at Microsoft Austria 

Nothing in life is more constant than change. In the past, there used to be an elevator attendant in every elevator who would take the guests to the floor of their choice. With the increasing automation of elevators, users were able to choose their own floor and the profession of elevator operator disappeared. At the same time, the lift became technically more complex and experts were needed for its repair. Today, machine learning and predictive maintenance can ensure that elevators are maintained before they fail. In maintenance, experts can be supported by new technologies, such as Mixed Reality, to reduce the time they spend on maintenance.

Only when one looks back in history does it become clear how new technologies change occupational profiles, how certain activities are no longer needed and how new occupations emerge. In the here and now, the uncertainty of employees and the fear of losing their job dominates. Even in times of artificial intelligence, countless jobs will again emerge that we cannot even imagine today.

With AI against the great problems of mankind

The job debate inevitably associated with AI often drowns out what AI could do for humanity and what groundbreaking results it is already achieving today. In medicine, for example, AI helps radiologists evaluate X-ray images: together, man and machine achieve an accuracy of 99.5 percent. Without AI, doctors achieve 95 percent and computers only 93 percent.
For people with disabilities, AI solutions can offer more autonomy. The free Microsoft App “Seeing AI”, for example, was developed for people with limited vision. It can be operated via voice control and helps them find their way around by telling them about the world around them.
To ensure that the growing world population has enough food in the future, AI can help farmers find the perfect time to plant, water and harvest. In this way, they can achieve higher yields with less crop loss.

AI technologies can only unfold their full potential if people trust them and enjoy using AI solutions.

AI – Clear rules create trust

Artificial intelligence will support us humans in all areas of daily life in the future. AI can generate meaning and knowledge for us from the huge mass of data that is growing every day, so that we can act appropriately or make better decisions. AI technologies can only unfold their full potential if people trust them and enjoy using AI solutions.
Therefore, to ensure that intelligent technologies serve only the welfare of society, their development and commitment must be actively regulated and the interaction between man and machine must be shaped. Because of that Microsoft has developed ethical guidelines for the development and use of intelligent technologies, including transparency in the collection and use of data, privacy and data security, accessibility and non-discrimination.

Shaping Human-Machine Interactions in Discourse

Regulations of individual companies are not enough. What AI is allowed to do and what it should do are the questions that need to be clarified most urgently today – not behind the closed doors of politicians or some global companies, but in public discourse. The WeAreDevelopers AI Congress in Vienna is a good platform for those topics.

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