Pioneering the AI revolution: My conversation with Microsoft’s Xiaopeng Li on AI and its impact

Karthik Sindhya

Published 22 May 2023

Reading time 4 min

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Xiaopeng Li, AI Business Lead, Western Europe at Microsoft. With an impressive background in both the technical and commercial aspects of AI, Li offered fascinating insights into the evolving landscape of AI technology and its potential impact on various industries. During our conversation, Li and I explored AI trends and predictions, discussing the rapid development of foundation models like ChatGPT, which has opened up a world of possibilities for AI implementation. We also touched on the challenges and opportunities surrounding AI deployment, with Li emphasising Microsoft’s commitment to providing robust, scalable, and secure AI solutions.

Xiaopeng Li explained that tapping into the power of foundation models can be achieved in two ways. First, by utilising services like Azure OpenAI Service to build applications on top of pre-trained models. This is exactly the approach that enables us at Solita to create for our customers intelligent applications that address a wide range of use cases, from contact centre automation to code generation, summarisation, and creating engaging text prompts. The second way to harness the power of foundation models is through the software that many users are already familiar with, such as GitHub and Microsoft Teams. Microsoft has been infusing large language models into these software applications, enhancing user experiences without any additional effort from the users themselves. One prime example of this integration is GitHub Copilot, which is now generally available. As a leading partner, Solita excels in helping businesses leverage these advanced tools effectively.

Discussing AI strategy and best practices, Li emphasised the importance of integrating AI into the core business processes, encouraging a culture of innovation, and fostering collaboration between different teams. This aligns with our own expertise at Solita, where we believe in developing tailored AI strategies that fit our client’s unique requirements and promote sustainable growth.

Next, we also explored ethical considerations and responsible AI, with Li mentioning Microsoft’s dedication to ensuring compliance with regulations like GDPR and Microsoft’s privacy program for EU-based customers, called EU Data Boundary. In addition, Microsoft has been pioneering in the responsible AI space with thorough internal implementations and open-source toolbox for AI practitioners inside and outside Microsoft. At Solita, we share this commitment to responsible AI, leveraging our deep understanding of ethical AI principles, data protection, and privacy concerns. Our team of experts helps clients navigate the complexities of implementing AI solutions that adhere to regulatory standards and ethical guidelines, ensuring that AI technologies are used responsibly and transparently for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Our conversation progressed to collaboration and partnerships, with Li explaining that Microsoft is a partner-driven company. They provide the platform (such as Azure OpenAI Service), while Solita brings data and AI expertise to build industry-specific solutions for clients. This collaboration enables the development of intelligent applications that address a wide range of use cases. Li shared personal insights on the use of AI, describing his experience with Microsoft Teams’ Intelligent Meeting Recap feature, which has significantly increased their productivity. This AI-driven feature transcribes meetings, summarizes key points, and creates action items for participants.

We then shifted our focus to AI being used for social good. Li shared several examples, such as using computer vision for biodiversity conservation, enhancing accessibility with closed captioning for Sveriges Television AB (SVT), and text-to-speech technology in Kahoot’s learning platform. In the healthcare sector, the company’s collaboration with Novo Nordisk has facilitated the use of AI in drug discovery, making it possible for scientists to develop new drug formulas more efficiently. Li also mentioned Microsoft’s AI for Good initiative, which enables projects like Seeing AI, a research project utilizing AI technology to help the low vision community better see the world around them.

As our conversation concluded, Li and I pondered the future of AI and its impact on businesses, employees, and society. Li expressed his belief that AI-driven innovations like ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot will lead to a productivity revolution, with AI assistants becoming a part of every profession. This evolution could result in employees working fewer hours and having more time for personal pursuits, improving overall work-life balance. Furthermore, this evolution aligns with Solita’s vision of leveraging AI to foster a healthier, more balanced work environment for its own employees.

In summary, my insightful conversation with Xiaopeng Li showcased the vast potential of AI technology and its ability to drive innovation and productivity across industries. As Solita and Microsoft continue their partnership, we aim to harness the power of AI to transform businesses, empower employees, and address pressing social issues. The future of AI is bright, and its impact on our lives will be monumental.

  1. Data
  2. Tech