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. Changing the world with data science

    By Kenji Takeda, Director, Azure for Research Alan Turing asked the question “can machines think?” in 1950 and it still intrigues us today. At The Alan Turing Institute, the United Kingdom’s national institute for data science in London, more than 150 researchers are pursuing this question by bringing their thinking to fundamental and real-world problems to push the boundaries of data science. One year ago, The Turing first opened its doors to 37 PhD students,…

    October 20th, 2017

  2. Equal parts passion and skill key to Microsoft Research high school intern projects

    In a group — Microsoft Research — where most of the researchers have PhDs, what can high school students contribute? How can Microsoft contribute to high school students? Those questions were answered this summer, when Microsoft Research hosted several high-school-age students for a nine-week internship. Said Asta Roseway, fusionist at Microsoft Research and one of the mentors to the high school interns, “We put the students into a maker lab, and gave them a project:…

    October 6th, 2017

  3. Measuring human happiness and frustration using data science in the cloud

    Emotions make us human. Researchers at The Alan Turing Institute in the United Kingdom are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to push the state of the art in data science to better understand what makes us happy, angry and frustrated. “Our research seeks to try and measure aspects of the world that we, as humans, are hugely aware of but that traditionally we've had near to no numbers on,” says Suzy Moat, an associate…

    October 5th, 2017

  4. Opportunities abound in the creative and collaborative culture of STEM

    The explosion of data available today everywhere from biomedicine to the arts is opening new opportunities for researchers with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math to pursue creative and collaborative endeavors that have deep societal impact. My research has always been interdisciplinary, which by nature is collaborative and creative. You need experts from different fields and you must make scientific leaps to bring the perspectives, results and methodology from one discipline to another. I…

    October 4th, 2017

  5. Primetime Engineering Emmy® Award goes to HEVC, a key technology behind ultra-high definition TV

    A technology standard that helps deliver ultra-high definition video to everything from smartphones to stadium displays will receive an Emmy® Award on October 25. The 2017 Primetime Emmy Engineering Award, from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, was announced Wednesday. “HEVC is about twice as good in terms of compression as the standard that came before it. That means if you want to store video on a hard disk or send video over the…

    September 29th, 2017

  6. Counting every person on Earth to eradicate poverty and empower women

    The number one United Nations Sustainable Development Goal is to eliminate poverty, leaving nobody behind. Researchers in the United Kingdom are harnessing the large-scale data-processing power of Microsoft Azure to map the location of every person on Earth to provide the accurate population statistics needed to achieve this international humanitarian goal. “There are about 2 billion people in the world today who are so poor that they earn less every day than the price of…

    September 28th, 2017

  7. Nominations wanted: Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship Program 2018

    At Microsoft Research, we are on the lookout for exceptional students to apply for our two-year PhD fellowship program. Our fellowships are for students in computer science, electrical engineering and mathematics, as well as interdisciplinary studies intersecting with those domains such as computational biology, social sciences and economics. We encourage department heads at universities in the United States and Canada to start preparing applications now to nominate outstanding fellows for the 2018-2019 academic year. Nominated…

    September 5th, 2017

  8. Microsoft unveils Project Brainwave for real-time AI

    By Doug Burger, Distinguished Engineer, Microsoft Today at Hot Chips 2017, our cross-Microsoft team unveiled a new deep learning acceleration platform, codenamed Project Brainwave.  I’m delighted to share more details in this post, since Project Brainwave achieves a major leap forward in both performance and flexibility for cloud-based serving of deep learning models. We designed the system for real-time AI, which means the system processes requests as fast as it receives them, with ultra-low latency. …

    August 22nd, 2017

  9. Real world interactive learning at cusp of enabling new class of applications

    By Alekh Agarwal and John Langford, Microsoft Research New York Clicks on Microsoft’s news website increased 26 percent when a machine-learning system based on contextual-bandit algorithms was deployed in January 2016 to personalize news articles for individual users. The same real world interactive learning technology is now available as a Microsoft Cognitive Service called the Custom Decision Service as well as via open source on GitHub. The core contextual-bandit algorithms are also available from…

    August 22nd, 2017

  10. Microsoft researchers achieve new conversational speech recognition milestone

    By Xuedong Huang, Technical Fellow, Microsoft Last year, Microsoft’s speech and dialog research group announced a milestone in reaching human parity on the Switchboard conversational speech recognition task, meaning we had created technology that recognized words in a conversation as well as professional human transcribers. After our transcription system reached the 5.9 percent word error rate that we had measured for humans, other researchers conducted their own study, employing a more involved multi-transcriber process, which…

    August 20th, 2017

  11. Program that repairs programs: how to achieve 78.3 percent precision in automated program repair

    By Lily Sun, Research Program Manager of Microsoft Research Asia In February 2017, Microsoft and Cambridge University announced a DeepCoder algorithm that produces programs from problem inputs/outputs. DeepCoder, which operates on a novel yet greatly simplified programming language, cannot handle complex problems—general programming languages are still too hard for DeepCoder to master. So, currently, programmers don’t have to worry about being replaced by machines. But programmers have plenty of other worries, including programming bugs. Could…

    August 4th, 2017

  12. Creating intelligent water systems to unlock the potential of Smart Cities

    By Satish Sangameswaran, Principal Program Manager, and Vani Mandava, Director, Data Science The newspaper headlines about “Bangalore’s looming water crisis” have been ominous, with one urban planning expert proclaiming that Bangalore will become “unlivable” in a few years because of water scarcity. This is a critical issue that threatens the future of one of India’s fastest-growing cities. In fact, water availability is a cause for worry in the entire country. According to an estimate by…

    July 31st, 2017