Microsoft is striving to give technology human intelligence and capabilities, but CEO Satya Nadella says it and its rivals should divert efforts away from AI that replaces people.
Nadella will join a chorus of tech leaders at this year's World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, addressing concerns that the current war for AI talent being waged by Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook will lead to machines that replace, rather than help humans.
He acknowledged Amazon's and Google's recent achievements in AI as "great advances", but said Microsoft is uniquely focused on giving developers the same tools that it uses to create intelligent systems.
Nadella will take the message to the World Economic Forum annual meeting at Davos where he's scheduled to deliver a speech today.
It estimates that about half of all work activities are candidates for automation by 2055, but the deployment of automation technologies may take decades and will require humans to work alongside intelligent machines.
HPE CEO Meg Whitman, speaking at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, has an equally upbeat outlook for workers' prospects under the so-called "fourth industrial revolution", brought by the Internet of Things, sensors, and AI. According to Whitman, it "will no doubt bring enormous change to our daily lives, but in a positive way".
eBay CEO Devin Wenig thinks AI will destroy jobs, but cautions against regulation.
"We are often afraid of what we don't know, but restraining technology is not the answer. While we can't hold back progress, we can shape it. Preparing today's workers for the skills of tomorrow is key, as is increasing everyone's access to the tools of the future," he wrote.
"As AI evolves, job training must evolve with it. There are already big shortages in fields closely related to AI, such as data science, engineering and operations."