Skip to main content

AI not a problem, according to Microsoft chief researcher

Right after Microsoft's founder Bill Gates commented (opens in new tab)how the human race should be much more concerned about the threat artificial intelligence poses, research chief at the same company has played down that threat to humans.

“I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence,” said Gates recently.

However Eric Horvitz, head of a team of scientists and engineers at Microsoft Research's main lab believes otherwise (opens in new tab).

Mr Horvitz also revealed that "over a quarter of all attention and resources" at his research unit were now focused on AI-related activities.

"There have been concerns about the long-term prospect that we lose control of certain kinds of intelligences," he said.

"I fundamentally don't think that's going to happen,” BBC reports.

"I think that we will be very proactive in terms of how we field AI systems, and that in the end we'll be able to get incredible benefits from machine intelligence in all realms of life, from science to education to economics to daily life."

"The next if not last enduring competitive battlefield among major IT companies will be artificial intelligence," he said.

"The notion that systems that can think, listen, hear, collect data from thousands of user experiences - and we synthesise it back to enhance its services over time - has come to the forefront now.”

Unlike Horvitz, many leading thinkers believe we have many reasons to fear AI.

This includes the likes of Bill Gates, Elon Musk (opens in new tab), the founder of SpaceX and chief executive of car firm Tesla, as well as Professor Stephen Hawking (opens in new tab), theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.