Microsoft president Brad Smith and EVP of AI and research Harry Shum have a new book about artificial intelligence called “The Future Computed.” In it, they outline Microsoft’s predictions and policy proposals around AI development.

Shum told Business Insider that in 20 years, AI-operated personal digital assistants will be so integrated into our lives that they will be like “alter egos.” They proposed a typical day in 2038 with one of these assistants.

The digital assistant you got for Christmas may endlessly entertain you with its ability to read you a recipe as you cook in the kitchen, but ultimately it feels like a novelty. This form of artificial intelligence is simply in its infancy, however, and if Microsoft’s leadership team is correct, in 20 years it will be an inextricable part of your life.

Harry Shum, EVP of AI and research, told Business Insider that it’s difficult to predict how AI will transform the world in the coming decades, “But one thing we firmly believe in is that the ultimate form of AI is a digital assistant.” Shum said that within Microsoft Research, employees refer to this future version of a personal digital assistant as an “alter ego, really a second self.”

We spoke with Shum and Microsoft president Brad Smith about their new book “The Future Computed,” in which they outline Microsoft’s thoughts on the future of AI, and why tech companies will need to work with both governments and academia to reach a consensus on the ethical use of AI in our daily lives. Twenty years from now, Microsoft and its competitors will be offering personal digital assistants that will offer the services of a full-time employee usually reserved for the rich and famous. Read more from…

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