Microsoft’s Kuala Lumpur event painted a compelling picture of AI’s influence. Stretching far beyond mere spreadsheets and managerial tasks, I wonder how it can help reclaime 100+ minutes a day, even when using your smartphone.
The November 30th gathering at the EQ Hotel was a buzzing hive of anticipation. Just yards away from the iconic KLCC tower, I will be spending a day with Microsoft’s APAC division to gain a little more perspective into the profound impact of this technology.
Evolution’s Dance: From Printing Homework to Conversing with Machines
Since my childhood introduction to computers in 1996, where it served primarily for printing and submitting homework, the extent of our dependence on this mind machine has grown exponentially. The paradigm shift towards conversing with computers for commands was once unimaginable but the recent Microsoft event offered a glimpse into this transformative journey.
Amidst the bustling Thursday morning traffic, I was eager to understand the facets of AI that would unfold. As one of the world’s largest software companies, Microsoft’s evolution has been remarkable.
Coffee & Feeling Geeky
Dark denim hugged my waist, a sleek turtle neck in jade-forest envy, I strolled into EQ Hotel on Jalan Sultan Ismail. Registration done, delegate pass secured, I navigated towards the irresistible aroma of brewing coffee. Despite the early 8:45 am start, the showroom floor buzzed with engaged attendees.
The air hung crisp and serene, promising a comfortably cool 18 degrees for the rest of the day amidst a turbulent tropic heat outside – a perfect cocoon for the “feminine Steve Jobs” feeling I was rocking. It was going to be a good day.
Cloocus and AI’s Symphony: From Productivity to Music Composition
My first stop: Cloocus. A screen loomed slightly above my 5’4 frame. Intrigued by their AI-powered productivity tools, I chatted with Hwanhwi Cho, an AI Business Center manager. Our dialogue danced seamlessly into exploring AI’s role in music composition – a topic I’d been eagerly awaiting. So, can AI actually write and compose beautiful or even great music, I asked?
If there’s anything I’d like to understand instantly or already know, it is an immediate yes and no. While artificial intelligence can now be applied in so many software to create music, it is using theoretical knowledge from existing music. And that could only mean one thing – that it will create and develop musical ideas that it knows of the past.
But how else has the music industry embraced artificial intelligence? I was hoping to find out more.
A Parade of Leaders: From ChatGPT’s Growth to Sustainable Development
Throughout the day, Microsoft’s stage hosted a parade of visionaries. K. Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia, highlighted AI’s competitive edge, citing ChatGPT’s explosive growth to 100 million users in just three months. Corey Sanders, Corporate VP of Microsoft Cloud for Industry, shared how AI reshapes data usage. And YB Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup, Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, emphasized how AI can drive inclusive, sustainable development for the nation.
It was obvious that OpenAI is now being used as an economic solution to productivity, something we’d all like to happen even in our daily lives. Can choosing or curating a playlist more accurately in Spotify or YouTube bring benefits? Will music composition no longer require musical theory knowledge to create? Will AI take away music-related jobs? Is it secure to use daily?
In speeding its adoption, Microsoft seem to have convinced governments and even medium-sized enterprise to test-drive Copilot’s abilities. It brought back memories at a panel I attended at SXSW Festival in Austin Texas, in 2016. On stage, the executives of Shazam and Coca Cola were talking about big data and how it was trying to find out what they could do with the amount of user experience they’ve accumulated.
Global Ambitions: Doubled Growth, 19,000 Jobs, and a Billion-Dollar Dance
The event underscored AI’s global significance. Accenture research suggests AI could double annual economic growth by 2035. UN agencies see it as a 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development accelerator. Even McKinsey’s simulations predict a 30% AI-led GDP growth for Malaysia.
In a perfect two-step, Microsoft announced a $1 billion Kuala Lumpur data center, aligning with Malaysia’s May 2021 national AI roadmap launch. This investment promises 19,000 jobs and $4.6 billion in revenue, complementing the government’s plan to skill 1 million Malaysians in IT by 2030.
Copilot: A Revolutionary Collaboration in Code
Taking center stage was Microsoft’s Copilot, powered by OpenAI’s Codex. This software promises to revolutionize software development. Imagine developers writing code more efficiently, collaborating seamlessly, and boosting productivity. Copilot’s capabilities, security measures, and potential job implications remain open questions. Still, with significant government backing, Microsoft positions it as a transformative force, calling for early adopters in this technological evolution.
Hours melt away as I witness Copilot’s intricate dance with data. It devours mountains of information, then pirouettes, spitting out answers at my every query. An investment? Perhaps not today. But early adoption of Copilot is as en vogue as a wellness retreat, promising to slash those late nights. After all, haven’t we already seen ChatGPT waltz through tasks in record time? Copilot? Sounds like a pretty impressive tango partner.