Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave a philosophical response Thursday to the major challenges that are currently being faced by tech companies, underling the guiding principles that he and his firm follow.
Speaking in front of an audience at the VivaTech conference in Paris, he said artificial intelligence (AI) is the "defining technology of our times."
Rather than fear the rise of this technology, which could be something that transcends even human capability, Nadella said that his developers, and their rivals, follow a set of human values and principles that guide the choices they make.
"The future we will invent is a choice we make, not something that just happens," he said.
The Microsoft chief executive was quick to cover topics like data privacy and cyberattacks in his speech. He joined French President Emmanuel Macron Wednesday at a "Tech for Good" event alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, IBM's Virginia Rometty and Intel Corp's Brian Krzanich. The topic of privacy has made headlines this year with Facebook, in particular, engulfed by the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Nadella said the big tech had a "tremendous responsibility" that it had to scale, recognize and act upon.
"When we think about the responsibility, let's think about privacy, I mean on May 25 the world will change with GDPR — we will now have to operate recognizing that privacy is a human right," he said, name-checking new EU rules coming into effect on Friday.
"Just this week, we announced that the core subject data rights that are at the core of GDPR is something that we will take to every part of the world that we operate in," he added.
On security and cyberattacks, Nadella said it was the the citizens of the world and the small businesses that get most impacted.
"We have to as a tech industry — and governments — really step up to ensure that those vulnerable populations and organizations are protected."