Despite the embarrassment of their foul mouthed racist bot, Microsoft are pressing on with a move into artificial intelligence.
Ahead of this week’s Launch event in San Francisco, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella laid out his vision for the company’s Artificial Intelligence efforts in describing a range of ‘bots’ that carry out small tasks.
Bloomberg tagged Nadella’s vision as ‘the spawn of clippy’, referring to the incredibly irritating help assistant Microsoft included with Office 97.
Tech site The Register parodied Clippy mercilessly in their short lived IT comedy program Salmon Days, as shown in this not safe for work trailer. While The Reg staff were brutal in their language and treatment of Clippy, most Microsoft Office users at the time shared their feelings.
While Clippy may be making a comeback at Microsoft, albeit in a less irritating form, other companies are moving ahead with AI in the workplace.
Robot manufacturer Fanuc showed off their self learning machine a few weeks ago which shows just how deeply AI is embedding itself in industry. Already there are many AI apps in software like Facebook’s algorithm and Google’s search functions with the search engine’s engineers acknowledging they aren’t quite sure what the robots are up to.
For organisations dealing with massive amounts of data, artificial intelligence based programs are going to be essential in dealing with unexpected or fast moving events. Those programs will also affect a lot of occupations we currently think are immune from workplace automation.