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. Toward AI that operates in the real world

    By Ashish Kapoor, Microsoft Research It’s an exciting time to be a machine intelligence researcher. Recent successes in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), which span from achieving human-level parity in speech recognition to beating world champions in board games, indicate the promise of the recent methods. Most of these successes, however, are limited to agents that live and operate in the closed world of software. Such closed-world operations provide two significant advantages to…

    May 29th, 2017

  2. Holograms: The future of near-eye display?

    By Andrew Maimone, Researcher; Andreas Georgiou, Researcher; Joel Kollin, Principal Research Hardware Development Engineer Last week at the SCIEN Workshop on Augmented and Mixed Reality, a group of industry and academic researchers met to discuss the future of virtual and mixed reality (VR/MR). One goal was clear: we’d all like to put on devices that look and feel like ordinary eyeglasses but can bring us to new places. We also want to maintain the full fidelity of human…

    May 19th, 2017

  3. P: A programming language designed for asynchrony, fault-tolerance and uncertainty

    By Shaz Qadeer, Principal Researcher The complexity of emerging software applications requires new approaches to understanding and then efficiently building, testing and debugging these systems. Today’s software uses cloud resources, is often embedded in devices in the physical world and employs artificial intelligence techniques. These three factors make today’s software systems an order of magnitude more difficult to develop. Often, these modern applications feature asynchrony, which happens when, to improve performance, the requestor of an…

    May 19th, 2017

  4. Where cryptography and quantum computing intersect

    By Kristin Lauter, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research Last week I spent time at the American Institute of Mathematics in San Jose, working with a group of 20 or so mathematicians and computer scientists on questions related to quantum arithmetic, at a conference co-organized by researchers in the Microsoft Research (MSR) Quantum Architectures and Computation (QuArC) group. You might ask, why is a cryptographer working on this topic? (And also, when will we have a quantum…

    May 8th, 2017

  5. CHI Part 2: Creating technologies that enhance lives in the areas of health and eye tracking

    By Justin Cranshaw, Researcher, Microsoft Research With its focus on the relationships between people and computation, the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) excels at creating technologies that marry human skills with computational functionality, to enable outcomes neither humans nor computers could achieve by themselves. This year at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Microsoft is presenting several ground-breaking works showcasing how humans and machines can work better together. Building a healthier…

    May 8th, 2017

  6. CHI Part 1: Interacting through touch, virtually and physically

    A preview of the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems By Justin Cranshaw, Researcher, Microsoft Research Human-computer interaction (HCI) research at Microsoft provides a human-centered perspective on the future of computing, reshaping the roles computers play in our lives and propelling society forward through the tools, systems, and methods we investigate and invent. Microsoft Research’s HCI team has expertise on a wide range of domain-specialties and disciplines, providing guidance to much of…

    May 4th, 2017

  7. Deep Learning for Program Synthesis

    By Rishabh Singh, Jacob Devlin, Abdelrahman Mohamed, and Pushmeet Kohli, Microsoft Research Despite the many advances in computing over the past decades, the actual process of writing computer software has not fundamentally changed — a programmer must manually code the exact algorithmic logic of a program in a step-by-step manner using a specialized programming language. Although programming languages have become much more user-friendly over the years, learning how to program is still a major endeavor that most computer…

    April 21st, 2017

  8. From cancer to crop genomics — using Research as a Service at the intersection of computers and biology

    By Kenji Takeda, Director, Azure for Research, AI and Research Ever since Nicola Bonzanni was a little boy playing in the tiny Italian village of Bonate Sotto, just north of Milan, he was fascinated by nature and by building things. As he grew up, he wondered how computing and nature might be intertwined. “While I was studying computer science I was inspired by nature in building new algorithms. But then I thought perhaps you could…

    March 28th, 2017

  9. Microsoft challenge: Build a collaborative AI in Minecraft

    By John Roach, Writer, Microsoft Research A Microsoft Research team has created a competition using Project Malmo, a platform that uses Minecraft as a testing ground for advanced artificial intelligence research. The team is challenging PhD students to develop an AI that learns to collaborate with other randomly assigned players to achieve a high score in a mini-game within the virtual world. The field of collaborative AI research involves the development of technologies that work…

    March 14th, 2017

  10. Democratizing AI to improve citizen health

    By Kenji Takeda, Director, Azure for Research Doctors make life-saving — and life-changing — decisions every day. But how do they know that they are making the best decisions? Can artificial intelligence (AI) help? “Before evidence-based medicine, decision-making in health care was heavily reliant on the expertise and knowledge of the health professional, usually a doctor. What has happened in the last 20, 30 years is that the health care literature has exploded way beyond…

    March 13th, 2017

  11. A new understanding of the world through grassroots Data Science education at UC Berkeley

    By Vani Mandava, Director, Data Science, Microsoft Research While some may regard data science as an easy passport to a job for the tech savvy, Luis Macias has different ideas. The fourth-year undergraduate student, who is majoring in American Studies at University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), wants to turn the hype of data science into hope for low-income communities like the one he grew up in. Luis was among the first students to take…

    March 9th, 2017

  12. New Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant provides support to under-represented groups in computing

    By Dr. Meredith Ringel Morris, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research I am pleased to announce that Microsoft Research is funding a new academic program, the Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant. This grant program offers selected doctoral students doing computing research at U.S. and Canadian universities up to US $20,000 to fund their dissertation work. This program is open to students currently under-represented in the technology sector, including women, people with disabilities, and people who are African-American/Black, Hispanic/Latino,…

    March 7th, 2017