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Nadella echoes Gates’ concern about AI, says reskilling needed to prevent job loss

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella echoed some of the concerns company founder Bill Gates had made by suggesting that embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) without reskilling people will have an impact on jobs.

tech Updated: Feb 22, 2017 09:46 IST
HT Correspondent
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in discussion with Nandan Nilekani during an event on startup stalwarts of India about digital information, cloud and AI, in Bengaluru.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in discussion with Nandan Nilekani during an event on startup stalwarts of India about digital information, cloud and AI, in Bengaluru.(PTI Photo)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella echoed some of the concerns company founder Bill Gates had made by suggesting that embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) without reskilling people will have an impact on jobs.

“I think it is an exciting future but at the same time, you have to be very mindful of the impact of AI on jobs. That’s why I want to make sure some of the skilling work we are doing in India is going to help people,” said Nadella at an interaction with the architect of Aadhaar, Nandan Nilekani.

Earlier in the week Microsoft founder Bill Gates called for levying taxes on robots that take away jobs from people.

However, Nadella also presented a use case for AI saying that Microsoft had been able to use it to improve efficiency in government services in Punjab and Andhra Pradesh.

Read | Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella pressed Trump on H-1B visas at tech summit

During the interaction Nadella praised the entrepreneurial energy in the country, calling it “tremendous” and said Microsoft is “enthused about it. “Every time I come back to India, the thing that grabs you is the entrepreneurial spirit of the place. There are a whole bunch of startups doing really exiting work,” Nadella said.

Nadella on Monday kick-started his three-day visit to India from Bengaluru, where he participated in a discussion organised by Microsoft on cloud-first, mobile-first world along with Indian IT veteran Nandan Nilekani.

Stating that India has some brands that have already well established, Nadella said there were stunning cross section of starts ups in the country.

The Microsoft boss pointed out that in the last twelve months there were about 2000 startups in the Microsoft Accelerator programme that the company runs out of Bengaluru.

Earlier in the day Nadella had announced a major deal for Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure by signing up India’s largest e-commerce firm Flipkart in Bengaluru.

Nadella is scheduled to meet Union IT and telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi on Tuesday.

With inputs from PTI