In a recent interview with Venture Beat, Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott shared insight into what he thinks end users and decision makers need to do to better grasp AI in the future.
First, Scott recommends that decision makers and end users educate themselves more about AI in order to become a more active AI user. “[Y]ou want to be able to participate in the debates. You don’t want to be someone to whom AI is sort of this thing that happens to you. You want to be an active agent in the whole ecosystem,” he told Venture Beat.
Scott also encourages end users and decision makers who are already up to speed on AI advancements to lend a helping hand to others in their field who might be struggling to understand it. Helping others grasp AI will increase everyone’s knowledge about what is possible in their fields, and can help make their work more accessible. “It’s challenging, because even if you’re a person with significant technical training, even if you’re an AI practitioner, it’s sort of challenging to keep up with everything that’s going on. The landscape is evolving really rapidly,” he said.
While AI’s role in facial recognition is booming, Scott recommends that end users and decision makers approach this branch of technology carefully, or ‘cautiously optimistic.” This is because of past cases and future risks of AI abuse, like government overreach, discrimination against certain groups of people, and other reasons.
However, Scott says he has “faith in humanity,” and while AI has been used for evil, he believes educated end users and decision makers will use the technology for good. For example, AI can be used to boost security in buildings, understand which participants are in a meeting, or verify that a person handling dangerous equipment is certified to do so, Venture Beat said.
“Folks who are deeply in the AI community need to do a better job trying to paint positive pictures for folks, [but] not in a Pollyanna way, and not ignoring the unintended consequences and all the bad things that could be amplified by AI,” Scott told Venture Beat.