Microsoft Research Blog

The Microsoft Research blog provides in-depth views and perspectives from our researchers, scientists and engineers, plus information about noteworthy events and conferences, scholarships, and fellowships designed for academic and scientific communities.

Most recent

  1. HCI, IR and the search for better search with Dr. Susan Dumais

    Episode 90, September 18, 2019 - Dr. Susan Dumais knows you have things to do, and if you need help finding stuff to get them done (and you probably do) then her long and illustrious career in search technologies has been worth it. Situated firmly in Louis Pasteur’s quadrant of the research grid (the square where you answer “yes” to both the quest for fundamental understanding and use-based applications) the Microsoft Technical Fellow, and Deputy…

    September 18th, 2019

  2. Helping first responders achieve more with autonomous systems and AirSim

    With inputs from: Elizabeth Bondi (Harvard University), Bob DeBortoli (Oregon State University), Balinder Malhi (Microsoft) and Jim Piavis (Microsoft) Autonomous systems have the potential to improve safety for people in dangerous jobs, particularly first responders. However, deploying these systems is a difficult task that requires extensive research and testing. In April, we explored complexities and challenges present in the development of autonomous systems and how technologies such as AirSim provide a pragmatic way to solve…

    September 16th, 2019

  3. Layer Trajectory BLSTM: New evolution enhances speech recognition technology

    Speech is a signal that can enable natural interaction between human and machine. In order to facilitate this exchange, machines have to be able to recognize what a human has spoken, both the words and the context in which those words appear. This is the task of speech recognition—a seemingly simple one from a human perspective but an incredibly difficult one for machines. For decades, researchers have been trying to develop algorithms to make speech…

    September 16th, 2019

  4. Bring your phones to the conference table: creating ad hoc microphone arrays from personal devices

    Recent advances in machine learning and signal processing, as well as the availability of massive computing power, have resulted in dramatic and steady improvement in speech recognition accuracy. Voice interfaces to digital devices have become more and more common. Lectures and online conversations can be transcribed using the live caption and translation features of PowerPoint, Microsoft Teams, and Skype. The speech technology community, including those of us at Microsoft, continues to innovate, pushing the envelope…

    September 13th, 2019

  5. Inside the Microsoft AI Residency Program with Dr. Brian Broll

    Episode 89, September 11, 2019 - In 2018, Microsoft launched the Microsoft AI Residency Program, a year-long, expanded research experience designed to give recent graduates in a variety of fields the opportunity to work alongside prominent researchers at MSR on cutting edge AI technologies to solve real-world problems. Dr. Brian Broll was one of them. A newly minted PhD in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University, Dr. Broll was among the inaugural cohort of AI residents…

    September 11th, 2019

  6. Project Everest: Advancing the science of program proof

    Project Everest is a multiyear collaborative effort focused on building a verified, secure communications stack designed to improve the security of HTTPS, a key internet safeguard. This post—about the proving methodology and verification tools of Project Everest—is the third in a series exploring the groundbreaking work, which is available on GitHub now. Building, deploying, and maintaining software at scale is a large engineering effort, and when that software is intertwined with machine-checked proofs of correctness,…

    September 5th, 2019

  7. Inclusive design for all, or ICT4D and 4U! with Dr. Ed Cutrell

    Episode 88, September 4, 2019- Dr. Ed Cutrell is a Principal Researcher in the Ability group at Microsoft Research and he’s convinced that great technology should be available to everyone. Working in the fields of Accessibility and Information and Communication Technologies for Development (aka ICT4D), his research has explored computing solutions for people across the resource and ability spectrum, both here and around the world. Today, Dr. Cutrell gives us an overview of his work…

    September 4th, 2019

  8. Rocket-fast embedded TypeScript for MakeCode Arcade

    When we began developing Microsoft MakeCode, a computing education platform, it was all about making programming easier, more engaging, and just plain friendlier. After all, if we were going to inspire the next generation of coders, easier entry into the world of computer science would be important. To accomplish this, we designed a high-level programming language with text and graphical input modalities along with a simple yet powerful set of programming libraries. Today, the language,…

    September 3rd, 2019

  9. Microsoft Icecaps: An open-source toolkit for conversation modeling

    How we act, including how we speak, is more often than not determined by the situation we find ourselves in. We wouldn’t necessarily use the same tone and language with friends during a night out bowling as we would with colleagues during an office meeting. We tailor dialogue to appropriately fit the scenario. If trained conversational agents are to continue evolving into dependable resources people can turn to for assistance, they’ll need to be trained…

    August 29th, 2019

  10. HE compilers for Private AI and other game changers with Dr. Olli Saarikivi

    Episode 87, August 28, 2019- As computing moves to the cloud, there is an increasing need for privacy in AI. In an ideal world, users would have the ability to compute on encrypted data without sacrificing performance. Enter Dr. Olli Saarikivi, a post-doctoral researcher in the RiSE group at MSR. He, along with a stellar group of cross-disciplinary colleagues, are bridging the gap with CHET, a compiler and runtime for homomorphic evaluation of tensor programs,…

    August 28th, 2019

  11. First TextWorld Problems, the competition: Using text-based games to advance capabilities of AI agents

    Public competitions often help to advance the state of the art in challenging research problems. They frame a question, provide relevant data, and define evaluation metrics so that researchers across the world can work toward a shared goal—and ultimately learn from each other’s advances. The TextWorld team at Microsoft Research Montreal proposed “First TextWorld Problems” (FTWP), a machine learning competition that ran from January 2019 to July 2019, to encourage research on machines that interact…

    August 21st, 2019

  12. Machine reading comprehension with Dr. T.J. Hazen

    Episode 86, August 21, 2019- The ability to read and understand unstructured text, and then answer questions about it, is a common skill among literate humans. But for machines? Not so much. At least not yet! And not if Dr. T.J. Hazen, Senior Principal Research Manager in the Engineering and Applied Research group at MSR Montreal, has a say. He’s spent much of his career working on machine speech and language understanding, and particularly, of…

    August 21st, 2019