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.

(Th)Inking with data — tapping into the potential of the digital pen

Whether at work or at home, people are regularly gathering and interpreting information to build their base of knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of the world around them. In this endeavor, they encounter data in many shapes and forms—lines of text in books, timelines and charts in magazines and newspapers, photos in print and online. They’re searching webpages and browsing interactive maps to identify good schools for their children or to find a great…

May 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Introducing TORC: A rigid haptic controller that renders elastic objects

Oxymorons of haptics might be the new normal Consumer virtual reality (VR) systems can immerse users in wonderous virtual worlds, rich in sights and sounds. However, how many times have you reached for an object in VR or augmented reality (AR) and, just as you were about to grab it, you experienced the bitter sensorial shock that the object did not exist in the real world. That break on presence could be about to end.…

May 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Advancing accessibility on the web, in virtual reality, and in the classroom

At the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems conference in Glasgow, Scotland this May, researchers from Microsoft’s Redmond and UK labs, together with our university collaborators, will be presenting several papers and demos that explore how to design technologies more inclusively, to support accessibility by users with cognitive and/or sensory disabilities. Microsoft researchers Adam Fourney, Kevin Larson, and myself teamed up with University of Washington researchers Qisheng Li and Katharina Reinecke to…

April 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Prototype tablet tricked out with sensors just proves Mom was always right: Posture is important!

The mobility of tablets affords interaction from a wide diversity of postures: Hunched over a desk with brow furrowed in concentration. On the go with the tablet gripped in one hand, while operating it with the other. Or kicked back on a couch to relax with some good old-fashioned Cat vs. Laser Pointer internet-video action. This dexterity of situation, task, and mood are a big part of what makes tablets so appealing. But as the…

April 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Making ‘micromoments’ work for you

Imagine you’ve been asked to write a crucial document for your company, perhaps a detailed outline of its long-term strategy. You’re excited, but don’t know when you’ll find the time to write it. As you sit in a meeting later that day, waiting for the person who arranged it, you envision the outline and the starting sentence or two. You realize you might have to put in some late nights and early mornings to get…

April 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Guidelines for human-AI interaction design

The increasing availability and accuracy of AI has stimulated uses of AI technologies in mainstream user-facing applications and services. Along with opportunities for infusing valuable AI services in a wide range of products come challenges and questions about best practices and guidelines for human-centered design. A dedicated team of Microsoft researchers addressed this need by synthesizing and validating a set of guidelines for human-AI interaction. This work marks an important step toward much-needed best practices…

February 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

redial

ReDial: Recommendation dialogs for bridging the gap between chit-chat and goal-oriented chatbots

Chatbots come in many flavors, but most can be placed in one of two categories: goal-oriented chatbots and chit-chat chatbots. Goal-oriented chatbots behave like a natural language interface for function calls, where the chatbot asks for and confirms all required parameter values and then executes a function. The Cortana chat interface is a classic example of a goal-directed chatbot. For example, you can ask about the weather for a specific location or let Cortana walk…

November 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

Encouraging developers and manufacturers to innovate with Eye Control

Eye Control is an exciting technology in Windows 10 that allows customers to use their eyes to control an on-screen mouse, keyboard and text-to-speech experience. This is a technology that empowers people with limited mobility such as people living with ALS. As part of the National Disability Employer Awareness Month (NDEAM), Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella has shared a demo video showing the capabilities enabled by the APIs (Application Programming Interface) associated with the Eye Control.…

October 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

UIST a showcase for innovation and an opportunity for professional growth

Thirteen years ago, researchers Shamsi Iqbal, Jaime Teevan, and Meredith Ringel Morris met for the first time. They were graduate students participating in the Doctoral Symposium at the 2005 ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium. Teevan and Morris were slightly senior, preparing to graduate the next year, and Iqbal remembers that she hadn’t even chosen a dissertation topic yet. “They presented their amazing, almost-complete dissertation topics, and there I was still in the process of…

October 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

Meredith Ringel Morris

Reflections – the Grace Hopper Conference past and present

This year I will be attending the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC), where I will be part of a panel discussion on the topic, “Will Artificial Intelligence Eliminate Accessibility Barriers?” (at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 26th). I’ve attended GHC three times in the past, but I must admit I am simultaneously excited and nervous about the projected attendance of 20,000 people this year! The first time I attended GHC was eighteen years…

September 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

Thinking outside-of-the-black-box of machine learning on the long quest to perfecting automatic speech recognition

Speech recognition is something we humans do remarkably well, which includes our ability to understand speech even in noisy multi-talker environments. While our natural sophistication at this is something we take for granted, speech recognition researchers continue to pursue refinements and improvements on the frontiers of the research space of automatic speech recognition. Significant technological progress that has been made over decades has shaped automatic speech recognition technology into its current form, which is already…

August 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

Democratizing APIs with Natural Language Interfaces

Benefiting from a confluence of factors, such as service-oriented architecture, cloud computing, and Internet-of-Things (IoT), application program interfaces – APIs – are playing an increasingly important role in both the virtual and the physical world. For example, web services, such as those featuring weather, sports, and finance, hosted in the cloud provide data and services to end users via web APIs and IoT devices expose their functionalities via APIs to other devices on the network.…

July 2018

Microsoft Research Blog