At the start of the Hanover Fair, Microsoft's Germany boss Marianne Janik called on people and companies in Germany to make greater use of artificial intelligence. "Artificial intelligence can develop an enormous boost for Germany, especially in core areas such as in classic industry, where things have not really progressed for years," she said on Monday.
The applications of artificial intelligence could be used by anyone, even with a lot of creativity, emphasized Janik. The technology can help to overcome obstacles such as the labor shortage and accelerate innovation processes. "They offer a historic opportunity."
At the same time, however, Janik also showed understanding for demands that the development of the AI should not be pushed ahead too hastily. Recently, numerous researchers and entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk had called for a six-month moratorium on the training of very advanced AI systems in an open letter. In addition, the Italian data protection authority blocked the AI service ChatGPT from Microsoft partner OpenAI in Italy.
Janik: Services have to comply with ethical principles
At a very early stage, Microsoft thought about which ethical principles artificial intelligence should follow, said the manager. "AI must be fair, so it must not disadvantage anyone. But these systems must also be reliable and secure." They would have to respect privacy and be inclusive at the same time, meaning they shouldn’t exclude anyone. "The important thing is that a person should always be accountable," emphasized Janik. "The results of AI assistance systems should then be checked again by humans, especially if they are used in critical areas."
Janik pointed out that her company is only very cautiously introducing AI functions such as the "Co-Pilot" for Office applications in a longer preview phase. "We didn't just throw that on the market." This procedure is necessary to ensure that the services really correspond to the ethical principles.