Predictions Week Video Highlights: Mitra Azizirad, Microsoft

Excerpts from our video interview with Mitra Azizirad, Corporate VP, Microsoft AI and Innovation

One of the most fascinating trends of the pandemic is the acceleration we have seen in machine learning in enterprises. Contrary to what many expected, over the past eight months there’s been a surge in production deployments, with those in customer experience, demand forecasting and contact centres as prime examples.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer this experimental, longer-term source of innovation, but a technology that can deliver quick transformational and business value. According to our latest survey of senior business leaders, close to 60% of businesses plan to increase their investment in AI in the next 12 months.

With these trends setting a unique context for AI in 2020, I was very excited to interview Mitra Azizirad, Corporate VP, Microsoft AI and Innovation, for CCS Insight’s week-long online event to present our predictions for 2021 and beyond.

Microsoft has made some major moves in AI recently, and I’ve always been impressed by Mitra’s insights on the market, so naturally I was keen to ask her questions about a range of topics. We discussed several subjects, including her career at Microsoft, from her early days in the research division to being the company’s first female technology director, to her current role. We also talked about how she sees companies achieving competitive advantage with AI, the role that trust now plays in the technology and what AI practitioners need to consider.

Above all, I was fascinated by her views on where the next big shifts in AI are coming, particularly in light of Microsoft’s Turing models and the rise of massive, multitask and multimodal AI models. We even got a prediction or two from her!

Below we’ve put together a few highlights. I hope you like it.

For the full version of the interview and all of the sessions from our Predictions Week, please get in touch.