Exclusive: the future of Microsoft with Satya Nadella


– If you’re a Windows
fan, you don’t need me
to tell you that today is the start
of the Microsoft Build
Developers Conference.
But if you are a true Windows fan,
you don’t need me to tell you
that this kind of generic-looking campus
is Microsoft headquarters.
We came here a week before Build
to talk to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella,
look at the demos that are going to happen
at this keynote, and
basically get the scoop
on what’s next for Windows
and what’s next for Microsoft.
Nadella recently reorganized the team
that makes Windows, so I wanted to know,
how important is Windows to Microsoft now?
What even is Windows?
– We built operating systems all our life.
What is an operating system in a world
where every person is going
to use multiple devices
in their life, they’re
going to collaborate
with many people in
their family or at work,
what does it even mean
to build a platform?
We have to confront …
I mean, we’re the Windows
company after all–
– Right.
– So to be able to say, well, Windows
and multi-device
experiences are not at odds.
In fact, let’s make
every Windows application
a multi-device application.
It’s something we’re
going to talk a lot about.
It’s all about being able to recognize
that every Windows user
also happens to have
in many cases, or in all
cases, a phone as well.
So it means they already
have multiple devices.
They have a Windows device and
perhaps a non-Windows device.
How do we make sure that both of devices
can work in concert to help the user
get the most out of their computers?
For example, the timeline
feature is a fantastic feature
for continuity between devices.
– My takeaway from what
he just said about Windows
is not that Windows is going away
because of course
Windows isn’t going away.
Instead, I think
Microsoft is going to stop
trying to turn everything into Windows.
The better plan, the new
plan is they’re going
to try and make everything
that’s already out there
work better if you happen to
have a Windows device around.
There is a bit of Windows news at Build,
but I also wanted to
talk to Nadella about AI.
– We are moving from
celebrating AI breakthroughs
to really now saying,
“How can we celebrate AI
“being deployed everywhere?”
Xiaomi, for example, built a device
using our cognitive capabilities,
both speech recognition
and machine translation.
Chinese travelers
worldwide are going to be
the largest population of travelers.
Just imagine if they could
have far field device
that’s just there in their
pocket and they could
put it in front, and the two
of us could be conversing,
one in Mandarin and the other in English,
and in real time have language translator.
That’s a real application of AI.
The DJI drone, where you now have a drone
that’s flying over oil pipelines,
and what we did was we have
a machine-learning model
which can recognize any
breaks in the pipeline
that’s been downloaded to
run on the DJI drone itself.
That means Azure Edge is in the DJI drone.
That’s an example of it.
– All this talk about AI
can be really abstract.
It’s hard to get your hands on it.
And so Microsoft took us to a place
where they actually
take this AI and turn it
into real stuff, and
it’s called the Bat Cave
because that’s a cool name.
Anywhere, this is where
they demo all the stuff
that they’re creating to
use in their keynotes.
And this is it.
(upbeat music)
– Hey, Dieter.
– Hi.
– Thanks for joining us.
I think probably the best way to show you
what we’re going to be talking about
is to just have you join
the meeting with me.
Are you down for that?
– Yeah, I love meetings.
I have so many of them.
– (laughs) I’m glad you
still have positive feelings
about your meetings, even with so many.
– [Dieter Voiceover]
Microsoft showed me a demo
of a futuristic computer meeting.
There was a prototype 360 degree camera
that recognized me and greeted
me when I walked in the door.
It provided live transcription
of the entire meeting,
and it could also do live translation,
but I didn’t get to see that.
It also automatically
broke out action items
when somebody said something like,
“Let me follow up on that.”
I saw Cortana automatically
schedule meetings
and hunt for documents
based on a conversation
inside the Microsoft Teams app,
and I also played around
with a 3-D render of data
inside HoloLens.
We were looking for why there was a bunch
of temperature sensors that were too hot
in an office building.
– This is the most
technologically advanced way
to narc on somebody turning the heat up
in their office too high that
I’ve ever seen in my life.
(group laughs) – Right, right, right.
– Don’t worry, nobody got fired.
It was just faulty sensors.
The neat thing about this demo is that
although it’s not real for users yet,
it’s all built on AI technology
that Microsoft has already made,
So it’s not some kitchen of the future thing.
It could actually happen for
regular users really soon.
But AI isn’t always
about whizzbang features.
It also has the potential
to be really dangerous.
Just look at how Facebook’s algorithm
has gone haywire for the past year.
How is Microsoft going to
prevent that sort of thing
from happening?
– What sort of responsibility do you have
to built protections
into the AI capabilities
you’re providing to developers,
such that it won’t cause completely insane
sideways effects?
– I would say he have a
very broad responsibility
as tech companies, and
tech platform companies
in particular.
I think, when I look
at it, there are three
principle issues, or three issues on which
you have to have strong
principles guiding you.
– Okay.
– One is on privacy.
You know, fundamentally
where the world is going is
you’ve got to recognize that
privacy is a human right
and that you need to treat it as such.
Second, you have to treat
security and cyber security
as something that is
important for everyone.
And third, you have to really not just ask
what can computers do, but you should ask
what should computers do?
– Right, right.
– So those are the three issues.
– Yeah, well I guess the
core of the question is,
when you start allowing people to build
on top of the AI, how much
of that responsibility
falls on you to limit their capabilities,
and how much of it do you think is just
encouraging people to not be terrible
when they start making their AIs?
– Having been in this platform business
for all the years at
Microsoft, I think the key
is for us to be able to guide people
to make those design choices.
I mean, think good UI.
We will always have books
that we would always read
about what does it mean to create good UI.
– Right.
– I think we all now have to start reading
what does it mean to create good AI.
And good AI is not just
the technology frameworks.
It is also the ethical
principles that guide good AI.
And I think that’s where we have to start.
– So, listen, all this
talk about cloud and AI
brings up something that’s
kind of hard to express.
I call it the gap.
It’s the gap between what
a company is promising
is coming and what you’re using every day.
It’s the gap between
what you know Microsoft
could have been and what it’s become.
Microsoft in 2018 is a lot more like IBM
than it is like Apple.
They’re just doing different things now.
And I get it.
It’s frustrating, and maybe
it’s ever a little bit sad.
You can imagine an alternate history
where Microsoft didn’t
completely fail at phones
and is taking on Android,
and, I don’t know,
where the Xbox isn’t getting
completely housed by the PS4.
But just because Microsoft
isn’t making a phone
doesn’t mean that it’s not relevant.
It’s trying to win with
Azure Cloud Services,
and IOT, and Microsoft 365,
and a bunch of other buzzwords
that you maybe don’t feel are
all that applicable to you.
It’s not as exciting,
but Nadella at Microsoft
is trying to focus on what’s working,
and I want an OS that
works with whatever phone
that I have, and I want a company
to focus on the ethics
of AI from the jump,
instead of waiting until
after it screws up an election
and then apologizing for it.
If we’re going to have
AI and drones and IOT
and everything else, we
need real competition
to keep everybody in check.
But there is that gap
between what success means
for Microsoft now, and in
some other alternate universe
that’s just not in the cards anymore.
And the funny thing
is, nobody at Microsoft
really seems to be sweating that gap.
There’s plenty of other
technology to fill it.
And this new Microsoft is trying to work
with that technology
instead of against it.
Hey everybody, thanks
so much for watching,
and I want to do, what do you think
of this new Microsoft?
Let me know in the comments.
And then head over to the
Verge Science YouTube channel,
especially if you like
things like rockets or mold.
If you like mold, it’s really cool.

100 Comments

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *