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Microsoft Future Decoded: The three forces driving the AI revolution

Redmond's UK CEO, Cindy Rose, explains how data, cloud and the pace of AI are transforming business faster than any technology before

The theme for this year's Microsoft Future Decoded is AI, and specifically, how it can transform your business faster than any technology before it.

But artificial intelligence is not new; It's been around since Alan Turing was cracking codes in World War II. So, what is actually accelerating this revolution?

According to Cindy Rose, Microsoft's UK CEO, there are three reasons why and she outlined them on stage during her keynote speech to open this year's event.

"Firstly, it's the explosive growth of data," she said. "These connected consumer devices and IoT [internet of things] sensors are producing more data today then humans can possibly make sense out of."

Indeed, using AI for data processing is a necessity as she gave an estimate that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are being created every day. That's more than 15 million text messages and 100 million spam emails every minute.

"It is also the power and pervasiveness of cloud," she added. "Cloud is what enables the efficient and rapid analysis of all this data. Microsoft is investing billions of dollars in a global cloud infrastructure to make sure we can deploy AI, quickly and at scale."

This "explosive" growth of data and the capabilities within cloud computing, combined, are enabling the development of increasingly powerful algorithms -- ones "we've never seen before", according to Rose. It's indisputable, the two need to be combined because the sheer volume of data we now generate cannot be processed by a human.

This speed of processing is Rose's third reason for the sharp rise in the AI revolution. This is what makes it a far more game-changing technology than anything that has gone before it.

"It's taken us nearly four decades to put a PC on every desk and a smartphone in every pocket," added Rose. "But the pace of AI deployment will be much faster and its impact more profound.

"And the pace the of change of these dynamics is why we believe that the time to embrace AI in your organisation is right now."

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