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.

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  1. Getting Virtual with Dr. Mar Gonzalez Franco

    Episode 4, December 13th, 2017  Getting Virtual with Dr. Mar Gonzalez Franco On today’s episode, neuroscientist and virtual reality researcher, Dr. Mar Gonzalez Franco, talks about her work in VR, explains how avatars can help increase our empathy and reduce our biases via role play, and addresses the misconceptions that exist between the immersive experiences of virtual reality and psychedelic drugs.      Related: Microsoft Research Podcast: Visit our podcast page on Microsoft.com iTunes: Subscribe…

    December 13th, 2017

  2. CodeTalk: Rethinking IDE accessibility

    It is a bright afternoon in the Microsoft Research India lab. Research Fellow, Venkatesh Potluri, sits at his computer, frantically racing against the clock to fix one last bug before the end of the day. The computer blares into his headphones—not music, but a robotic rendition of the code, as Venkatesh uses a program called a screen reader to access applications on his computer. As his hands glide over the keyboard, the computer reads the current…

    December 11th, 2017

  3. Collecting telemetry data privately

    The collection and analysis of telemetry data from users and their devices leads to improved user experiences and informed business decisions. However, users have concerns about their data privacy, including what personal information software and internet companies are gathering and whether their data is protected from potential leaks and hacks. Differential privacy (Dwork, et al. 2006) has emerged as the de facto standard for privacy guarantees. A special case (and the strongest variant) of differential…

    December 8th, 2017

  4. New Meta-learning Techniques for Neural Program Induction

    Much research in AI lately focuses on extending the capabilities of deep learning architectures: moving beyond simple classification and pattern recognition into the realm of learning algorithmic tasks, such as inductive programming. Building on our past work in neural program synthesis for learning string transformations in a functional language, our most recent work explores the challenges of training neural architectures for inducing programs in a more challenging imperative language (Karel) with complex control-flow. Specifically, we…

    December 7th, 2017

  5. Deliberation Network: Pushing the frontiers of neural machine translation

    During the Tang dynasty of China, which lasted from 618 to 907, the poet Jia Dao was known for polishing his poems over and over to make them better and better. One famous story describes how he deliberated over two lines of a poem that read, “Birds nestle in the trees by the pond. A monk pushes the door in the moonlight.” Dao concentrated on the word “pushes.” He considered using “knocks” instead. After a…

    December 6th, 2017

  6. Hybrid Reward Architecture and the Fall of Ms. Pac-Man with Dr. Harm van Seijen

    Episode 3, December 6, 2017 Hybrid Reward Architecture and the Fall of Ms. Pac-Man with Dr. Harm van Seijen If you’ve ever watched King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters, you know what a big deal it is to beat a video arcade game that was designed not to lose. Most humans can’t even come close. Enter Harm van Seijen, and a team of machine learning researchers from Microsoft Maluuba in Montreal. They took on Ms.…

    December 6th, 2017

  7. ‘Contextual bandit’ breakthrough enables deeper personalization

    News portals that simultaneously personalize every part of the landing page for every visitor and mobile health apps that adaptively tweak every part of an exercise regimen to maximize the benefit of every user are becoming plausible due to an advance in a type of interactive machine learning that my team will describe at the Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems running December 4-9 in Long Beach, California. Our research falls in an important…

    December 5th, 2017

  8. Will machines one day be as creative as humans?

    Recent methods in artificial intelligence enable AI software to produce rich and creative digital artifacts such as text and images painted from scratch. One technique used in creating these artifacts are generative adversarial networks (GANs). Today at NIPS 2017, researchers from Microsoft Research and ETH Zurich present their work on making GAN models more robust and practically useful. Generative adversarial networks are a recent breakthrough in machine learning. Initially proposed by Ian Goodfellow and colleagues…

    December 4th, 2017

  9. New Microsoft Research Podcast invites you to log on, tune in and geek out

    Microsoft Research Podcast Subscribe and listen on iTunes, android or email I’ve spent the better part of the last decade investigating the impact of digital media and technology on culture from an academic perspective. I have conducted my own qualitative research and devoured nearly every book, article, tweet, post or link I could find on the subject. I’m as interested as any person who can’t do the math could possibly be in what’s going on…

    December 4th, 2017

  10. AI and Our Future With Machines with Dr. Eric Horvitz

    Episode 2, December 4, 2017 When it comes to artificial intelligence, Dr. Eric Horvitz is as passionate as he is accomplished. His contributions to the field, and service on the boards of nearly every technical academy and association in the country, have earned him the respect – and awe – of his colleagues, along with the position of Technical Fellow and Managing Director of Microsoft Research. Dr. Horvitz talks about the goal of artificial intelligence,…

    December 4th, 2017

  11. Snippets from the Revolution – An Interview with Dr. Jaime Teevan

    Episode 1, November 28, 2017 Dr. Jaime Teevan has a lot to say about productivity in a fragmented culture, and some solutions that seem promising, if somewhat counterintuitive. Dr. Teevan is a Microsoft researcher, University of Washington Affiliate Professor, and the mother of 4 young boys. Today she talks about what she calls the productivity revolution, and explains how her research in micro-productivity – making use of short fragments of time to help us accomplish…

    December 4th, 2017

  12. Microsoft Research and Microsoft Azure improve the efficiency and capacity of cloud-scale optical networks

    Today, at HotNets 2017, the Sixteenth ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, we shared with you some important research results from Microsoft Research and Microsoft Azure that show how we can increase the capacity of optical networks without purchasing new fibers. Data, data, data – it’s all about the data Our journey to understand and improve optical networks began several years ago. To innovate we first needed to measure the operational efficiency of our optical…

    December 1st, 2017