Trending: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Microsoft using artificial intelligence to teach a machine to stay aloft

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft filed its annual report Wednesday, and among the many pages of documents and numbers are insights on what the company sees as its core vision, and that appears to be changing.

As first spotted by CNBC, Microsoft has inserted artificial intelligence into its vision for the first time, and removed references to a “mobile-first” world. That fits with Microsoft’s recent push into AI and retreat from the smartphone market.

“We believe a new technology paradigm is emerging that manifests itself through an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge where computing is more distributed, AI drives insights and acts on the user’s behalf, and user experiences span devices with a user’s available data and information,” according to Microsoft’s vision statement.

Microsoft last year formed a new 5,000-person engineering and research team to focus on its artificial intelligence products — a major reshaping of the company’s internal structure reminiscent of its massive pivot to pursue the opportunity of the Internet in the mid-1990s.

Just last month the company made a series of AI announcements, including a new iPhone app that describes the world for the visually impaired, an AI “research and incubation hub” inside Microsoft Research, a new “Ethical Design Guide for AI” and an initiative called AI for Earth to encourage the use of artificial intelligence for environmental solutions.

Here is Microsoft’s full vision statement from the document:

Microsoft is a technology company whose mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We strive to create local opportunity, growth, and impact in every country around the world. Our strategy is to build best-in-class platforms and productivity services for an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge infused with artificial intelligence (“AI”).

The way individuals and organizations use and interact with technology continues to evolve. A person’s experience with technology increasingly spans a multitude of devices and becomes more natural and multi-sensory with voice, ink, and gaze interactions. We believe a new technology paradigm is emerging that manifests itself through an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge where computing is more distributed, AI drives insights and acts on the user’s behalf, and user experiences span devices with a user’s available data and information. We continue to transform our business to lead this new era of digital transformation and enable our customers and partners to thrive in this evolving world.

And for comparison, here is last year’s:

Microsoft is a technology company whose mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Our strategy is to build best-in-class platforms and productivity services for a mobile-first, cloud-first world.

The mobile-first, cloud-first world is transforming the way individuals and organizations use and interact with technology. Mobility is not focused on any one device; it is centered on the mobility of experiences that, in turn, are orchestrated by the cloud. Cloud computing and storage solutions provide people and enterprises with various capabilities to store and process their data in third-party datacenters. Mobility encompasses the rich collection of data, applications, and services that accompany our customers as they move from setting to setting in their lives. We are transforming our businesses to enable Microsoft to lead the direction of this digital transformation, and enable our customers and partners to thrive in this evolving world.

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