The president of Microsoft France believes that it is necessary to stop saying 'artificial intelligence'
“Stop saying ‘artificial intelligence’, say ‘digital intelligence’ instead!”, said Carlo Purassanta, President of Microsoft France, at the company’s back-to-school conference, this Thursday, September 19, 2019, in Paris. The latter believed that the term “artificial intelligence” could “scare” and convey the idea that computers will replace humans. “With the word ‘artificial’, we think it’s in opposition to ‘human’. That’s not it,” he added. Carlo Purassanta completed his remarks by stating that “digital intelligence does not destroy human values but provides additional capabilities to work better and live better”.
In an interview with BFM Business earlier in the day, the president of Microsoft France had detailed his idea: “computers, smartphones, objects are just going to have a superior digital intelligence that accompanies us in the way we do, work. This is personal productivity. It doesn’t mean working more, it means working better, so maybe even less […]. When I’m looking for something, I find it easier, I can ask, I have an answer, the interaction is going to be natural, I can chat with a digital intelligence”.
His vision of artificial intelligence (AI) opposes that of others like Elon Musk, who has repeatedly stated that AI represents the “greatest risk we face as a civilization”, that humans would be reduced to “domesticated cats” compared to the superpowered computers that are being built or that “the battle for the superiority of AI at the national level is the most likely cause of a third World War”.
However, we are still “really, really far from building a really intelligent machine,” according to Yann LeCun, scientific director of artificial intelligence (AI) at Facebook.
In terms of AI, Microsoft France has also announced the opening of 20 Microsoft AI schools by 2020, or 500 learners. In 2020, the company will welcome a new class of 40 learners to its campus in Issy-les-Moulineaux (Hauts-de-Seine), including 15 students with Asperger’s or high-level autistic disorders. Today, there are nine schools in France. The Microsoft AI Schools training program is designed jointly with the Simplon Digital School and is intended for people far from work with an interest in code and mathematics.
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