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What if our computers can communicate intelligently with us?

You’ve
heard us right, or this is at least, a glimpse of the future shown to us during
the Microsoft Developer’s conference 2016 held at the National University of
Singapore Cultural Hall on the 27
th of May. We saw Satya Nadella, CEO
of Microsoft on stage and heard first-hand about his vision for the world,
which he believes will be human-to-computer interaction. This event was held to
empower developers, to lend Microsoft’s expertise and support towards
Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative, and to work with the National University
of Singapore to establish a new course about Data Science.

Conversations as a
platform

During
the keynote address at the event, Satya Nadella, asserted that we exist in a
shift which he called “conversations as a platform”. He spoke about a reality 5
years from now where all our devices, our homes and our workplaces are
intelligent enough to speak with us, understand our needs and help us with our
tasks more efficiently. Mr Nadella said “What if you can take the most innate ability
that all humans have which is the understanding of human language and bring
that to all computers and computing around us?”

Satya Nadella giving his keynote address to attendees


“What if our computers could understand us perfectly and
respond to us?”

Mr
Nadella described this future which eliminated the need and cognitive load
involved in the navigation of multiple user interfaces, the struggles in
deciding which programs or apps you need, and instead challenged us to imagine
a future where we could simply speak to our devices, and the right application
with the right context will automatically open to help us get things done. With
home artificial intelligence already in the market with products such as the
Amazon Echo, and Google also investing heavily into artificial intelligence
development, this is a reality that is imminent rather than a far flung
fantasy.

Mixed reality

Part
of this future which Microsoft envisions for developers, consumers and
professionals in every industry involves augmented reality taken even further.
He said “For the first time, our field of view itself is an infinite digital
display.” He calls this platform “mixed reality” where Microsoft wants to bring
the analog world and virtual space together.

Mr
Nadella spoke about marrying mixed reality with the notion of “presence” and used
the conference as an example, where mixed reality could bring all of the people
watching at home to the conference by transporting their presence to the
auditorium virtually.

He
also describes the possible applications in various industries such as, medical
students studying holographical representations of organs, architects being
able to create virtual constructs of their ideas, interior designers showing
clients accurate virtual representations of their concepts to show their
clients and how mixed reality could change entertainment and gaming in a
profound manner.

Satya Nadella speaking about a future powered by mixed reality

“When you change the way you see the world, you change the
world you see”

Mr
Nadella also emphasized on the importance of fostering local ingenuity and,
Microsoft’s involvement in local education to prepare a new generation of
Singaporeans to become experts in the handling of data science which Mr Nadella
described as the “new currency moving forward,” to harness the power of data in
developing applications to impact our lives in many profound ways.

By Nicholas Ho / 27 May, 2016 16:00 GMT+8
Singapore

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