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. Nominations wanted: Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship Program 2018

    By Sandy Blyth, Managing Director 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…

    September 5th, 2017

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Summer Institute unpacks the future of IoT

    By John Roach, Writer, Microsoft Research Within the next 5 to 10 years, tens of billions of things will be connected to the internet. They’ll monitor rainfall in rain forests and engine performance in airplanes, guide robotic teachers around classrooms and robotic aids around nursing homes, keep tabs on milk in refrigerators and fans at baseball games along with millions of other yet imagined scenarios for this future Internet of Things. Leading researchers from across…

    July 31st, 2017

  8. AI with creative eyes amplifies the artistic sense of everyone

    By Gang Hua, Principal Researcher, Research Manager Recent advances in the branch of artificial intelligence (AI) known as machine learning are helping everyone, including artistically challenged people such as myself, transform images and videos into creative and shareable works of art. AI-powered computer vision techniques pioneered by researchers from Microsoft’s Redmond and Beijing research labs, for example, provide new ways for people to transfer artistic styles to their photographs and videos as well as swap…

    July 27th, 2017

  9. Transfer learning for machine reading comprehension

    By Xiaodong He, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research For human beings, reading comprehension is a basic task, performed daily. As early as in elementary school, we can read an article, and answer questions about its key ideas and details. But for AI, full reading comprehension is still an elusive goal–but a necessary one if we’re going to measure and achieve general intelligence AI.  In practice, reading comprehension is necessary for many real-world scenarios, including customer support,…

    July 26th, 2017

  10. Researchers build nanoscale computational circuit boards with DNA

    By Microsoft Research Human-engineered systems, from ancient irrigation networks to modern semiconductor circuitry, rely on spatial organization to guide the flow of materials and information. Living cells also use spatial organization to control and accelerate the transmission of molecular signals, for example by co-localizing the components of enzyme cascades and signaling networks. In a new paper published today by the journal Nature Nanotechnology, scientists at the University of Washington and Microsoft Research describe a method…

    July 24th, 2017

  11. Second version of HoloLens HPU will incorporate AI coprocessor for implementing DNNs

    By Marc Pollefeys, Director of Science, HoloLens It is not an exaggeration to say that deep learning has taken the world of computer vision, and many other recognition tasks, by storm. Many of the most difficult recognition problems have seen gains over the past few years that are astonishing. Although we have seen large improvements in the accuracy of recognition as a result of Deep Neural Networks (DNNs), deep learning approaches have two well-known challenges:…

    July 23rd, 2017

  12. Faculty Summit ’17 sessions available on-demand

    By Roy Zimmermann, Director, Microsoft Research The theme of this year’s Faculty Summit 2017, which occurred earlier this week, was The Edge of AI. The meeting on Microsoft’s sun-splashed Redmond campus involved more than 500 prominent AI academic and Microsoft researchers who brought depth and context to the theme with thought-provoking presentations and demos of leading-edge research. We heard from leading luminaries in collaborative AI, deep learning, machine comprehension, deep neural nets and more. We saw…

    July 21st, 2017