By Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India.
“The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” – Mark Weiser
Artificial intelligence is beginning to shift the way in which we relate to the world around us. It is already transforming the way we work and do business. A recent study by PwC calculated that global GDP will increase by 14% by 2030 because of AI adoption, contributing an additional $15.7 trillion to the global economy (PwC, 2017). In the next five years, senior executives across the globe expect AI to have a positive impact on growth (90%), productivity (86%), and job creation (69%) in their country and industry (Economist Intelligence Unit, 2018). And this growth isn’t limited to specific industries; any organization in any industry, especially those with very large amounts of data, can use AI for creating business value.
Everyone acknowledges that AI has broad transformative potential, but enterprises struggle to translate this potential into tangible advantages. Some of the key obstacles to organizations’ progress with AI include the requirements to establish a strategy and goals, justify and secure investments for projects. Without a comprehensive strategy, enterprises often utilize AI only in limited instances. These single-use cases only scratch the surface of the potential of AI. The real power of AI is in its ability to holistically transform the enterprise and redefine business in ways beyond our present frames of reference.
Each organization needs to define its “tech intensity” – a simple product of combining two capabilities: the adoption of technology platforms available at scale and the specific knowledge and assets that the organization brings to create their own distinctive domain advantages. To make both happen, organizations need a long-term strategy and a strategic technology partner that goes beyond providing discrete solutions. As AI implementation continues to expand, this partnership must be capable of meeting the needs and concerns of the enterprise, such as security and scalability. It must also ensure that everyone in the organization, regardless of technical expertise, is able to leverage the power of AI for productivity, collaboration and growth.
At Microsoft, our ambition is to help realize a human-centered approach to AI for every country in which we operate, every customer we support and every community we serve. We are establishing Microsoft as the leading AI partner to customers, governments and communities through constructive policy advocacy, technology innovation and key enabler programs that are critical to economic growth of countries. In India, we are laying the foundation for this ambition by building upon four key pillars, namely
- Enabling transformation across industries: Leverage AI technologies to create breakthrough innovations and accelerate digital transformation, focusing on industries critical to the country’s economic growth.
- Forging coalitions for innovation: Engage with government, industry, academic and civil society stakeholders to create a collective approach to AI. Enable the government to better serve the needs of its citizens through AI.
- Building a future-ready workforce: Empower individuals, across all demographics, with the skills for an AI-enabled world. Enable economic growth and innovation through development of future-ready talent pipelines.
- Creating sustained societal impact: Apply AI technologies to address pressing societal challenges, including environmental sustainability, accessibility, and humanitarian action.
At Microsoft, AI is not a product or a set of technologies. AI is our vision for empowerment – for every developer to innovate, every organization to redefine industries and every individual to transform society. This is central to our mission of empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.