With the collection we call the Mobile World Congress, which is expected to offer little in the way of major announcements and buzzworthy names this year, Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella came to Barcelona to fill the gap.
On Sunday evening, Nadella opened a Microsoft Event for journalists to introduce the second generation of the company's HoloLens, an exciting enhanced reality headset. Microsoft is still trying to push past the embryonic scene. It also revealed what is undoubtedly one of its major hardware campaigns this year, Azure Kinect, a camera and a technology-based sensor for Microsoft's old Kinect for Xbox, but targeting businesses by giving them a gadget powered by artificial intelligence and cloud computing.
Azure Kinect exacts the direction Nadella manages the business, in this case against an emerging infrastructure trend known as "edge computing" that brings computing power closer to users than keeping it in a centralized cloud data center. This shift is part of a fundamental re-architecture of the internet. Nevertheless, it is not the kind of thing that is likely to put the consumer's hearts flattering in the way one can pay, but it can also be that one can get an influential, regardless of priced, foldable smartphones.
But Nadella's presence on this international scene, which still attracts more than 1
"The defining technology of our time, whether it is AI, cloud, or mixed reality, cannot be a few provinces," he said. "They must be democratized so that everyone can benefit from it."
In recent years, tech luminaires such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai have taken prominent slot machines and offered eye-shaped thoughts on technological trends and how their respective companies are working to reach a wide range of people and close the global digital divide. But with both their companies under fire, this year is not showing. On the corporate side, Samsung usually takes center on Sunday evening before the show to launch its new flagship, but this year chose to hold its own event earlier last week.
Instead, it is Nadella who will be everywhere when the show starts officially on Monday. He is a member of the Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica for a press conference to discuss a partnership that uses Microsoft's cloud and AI service to create new customer service. Later, Nadella will participate in a speech by Dieter Zetsche, head of Daimler AG, to discuss a cloud computing partnership announced last week.
While Nadella may not be quite a household name yet, his appearance comes at a favorable time, just a few months after Microsoft briefly became the world's most valuable company again. It also follows several months of plagues for the job he has done to help Microsoft break from its past.
Given that his megaphone is perhaps larger than ever, Nadella used Sunday's opening recommendations to highlight the wave of interference that will wash worldwide as millions of devices are connected, many more terabytes of data are generated, and each industry is reversed on the head. But a lot of people feel that their lives have been changed over the past 10 years by the age of the smartphone, there will be nothing in terms of the disturbance caused by the upcoming time of 5G networks and AI and the true internet of things (IoT) .
"It is truly a terrifying time to be in this industry and witness the rapid transformation that is taking place," he said.
"The computer is built into our world," he continued. "At all places and everything. The computer becomes part of every aspect of our work and daily life … The computer is no longer limited to a single device or data center."
Of course this is exactly What Scares Many People: The tech represents a Pandora's box we can no longer shut down and seem to be eradicating our economies and making people deeply unhappy.
Nadella acknowledged it.
"I am aware of the eyes of the unintended consequences of these advances," said. "Therefore, we are committed to earning the trust of our customers and invoking confidence in technology over everything we do."
This includes the focus on privacy, which he called a "human right", investing in cyber security to protect people, and developing ethical AI.
"That's why we are responsible for building AI and taking a fundamental approach," he said. "And ask the difficult questions, such as not asking what computers can do, but which computers should do."
From there he tried to draw attention to the more optimistic side of all these breakthroughs in fields such as machine reading, AI, robotics and mixed reality. What if magnified reality can be used to train people for new jobs that would normally take years to learn? What if hospital cameras and sensors can help predict and prevent 1 million cases that cause 11,000 deaths each year?
"Our collective opportunity has never been greater," he said. "This requires us to move from being passive consumers of technology to technology producers. We build technology so our customers can build their own technology. Today, every company is a technology company. The next major technological breakthrough that will change our lives comes not from a technology company, but from a dealer or a healthcare company or car company. "
" That's what we build technology for, to give each of us superpowers. people to thrive and participate in our economy, and move us from just consumers of technology to technology developers. "