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Nadella says future belongs to bots

delhi Updated: May 31, 2016 11:30 IST

NEW DELHI: The India-born CEO of Microsoft Corp, Satya Nadella, on Monday said the company was trying to teach computers more of the human language to make them faster, and make interacting with them more easy with the help of artificial intelligence assistants such as Cortana.

He also spoke about building bots, which have an understanding of the human language. A bot is a software application that runs automated tasks (scripts) over the internet.

Cortana, a virtual assistant and comparable to Apple Siri and Google Now, is a programme that runs on most Windows devices, and helps in getting tasks done by speech recognition.

“What if we taught all the computers around us and all the computing, human language. Think about the kinds of applications you could build, but more importantly, think about what it does to democratising the experience. Instead of us having the cognitive know as users of learning new shell constructs, downloading icon after icons, and screen after screens of apps, what if all you did was spoke or texted and you were able to get the work done. That’s the world I think you can create,” the CEO said while addressing students and young entrepreneurs soon after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“You are going to build these bot interfaces that understand human dialogue. And, it’s going to be a pretty profound shift in how computing is experienced by everybody. It’s probably going to be the most democratising force and make it accessible to anybody.”

Nadella said poetry and computer science were his two passions that have inspired him, and quoted classical Urdu poet Ghalib: Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ke har khwahish pe dam nikle, Bahut nikle mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kam nikle (I have a thousand desires, all desires worth dying for, though many of my desires were fulfilled, a majority remained unfulfilled).

He elaborated: “My interpretation of Ghalib’s saying changes every year... I kind of feel like I’ve learnt it again, that I have figured it out... it is not just your dreams being fulfilled, it is your ability to dream things that are worth dying for... the power of what we can do with digital technology. ”

On his plans about India, Nadella said: “Our mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. It’s about really celebrating the technologies that you all in India create. In fact, I want us to be the platform creators that foster the ingenuity of what is happening in India.”

Modi tweeted: “Discussed various issues pertaining to the IT sector with @Microsoft CEO @ satyanadella @MicrosoftIndia”. (With inputs from Mint)

First Published: May 31, 2016 11:30 IST