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.

microsoft ability team stands in front of sign at university of texas at austin

Microsoft Ability Initiative: A collaborative quest to innovate in image captioning for people who are blind or with low vision

Microsoft is committed to pushing the boundaries of technology to improve and positively influence all parts of society. Recent advances in deep learning and related AI techniques have resulted in significant strides in automated image captioning. However, current image captioning systems are not well-aligned with the needs of a community that can benefit greatly from them: people who are blind or with low vision. We recently completed a competitive process to find an academic research…

January 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

In between the lines: Broadening access to web search by understanding the needs of people with dyslexia

People with dyslexia perceive the world in different ways when it comes to the arrangement of letters and words on paper – or, these days, on web pages. Indeed, so much of modern life and accessibility to the information that enables us to participate in it depends on our ability to perceive and process online written content – such as search results and the web pages they represent – that people who don’t have dyslexia…

July 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

Adversarial and reinforcement learning-based approaches to information retrieval

Traditionally, machine learning based approaches to information retrieval have taken the form of supervised learning-to-rank models. Recent advances in other machine learning approaches—such as adversarial learning and reinforcement learning—should find interesting new applications in future retrieval systems. At Microsoft AI & Research, we have been exploring some of these methods in the context of web search. We will share some of our recent work in this area at SIGIR 2018. This post briefly describes what…

July 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

Sounding the Future: Microsoft Research brings its best to ICASSP 2018 in Calgary

Introduction Speech technology has come a long way since Alexander Graham Bell’s famous Mr. Watson – Come here – I want to see you became the first speech to be heard over the telephone in 1876. Today, speech technology has moved into realms such as VoIP, teleconferencing systems, home automation, and so on. Its importance has grown exponentially with the emergence of mobile and wearable devices and many existing and upcoming Microsoft services, devices and…

May 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

Microsoft researchers unlock the black box of network embedding

At the ACM Conference on Web Search and Data Mining 2018, my team will introduce research that, for the first time, provides a theoretical explanation of popular methods used to automatically map the structure and characteristics of networks, known as network embedding. We then use this theoretical explanation to present a new network embedding method that performs as well as or better than existing methods. Networks are fundamental ways of representing knowledge and relating to…

February 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

Getting LinkedIn to Data Science with Dr. Igor Perisic

Episode 11, February 7, 2018 – Big data is a big deal, and if you follow the popular technical press, you’ll have heard all the metaphors: data is the new oil, the new bacon, the new currency, the new electricity. It’s even been called the new black. While data may not actually be any of these things, we can say this: in today’s networked world, data is increasingly valuable, and it is essential to research,…

February 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

New institute explores the future of Cortana

Today marks the establishment of the Cortana Intelligence Institute – a new, co-funded collaboration between Microsoft Research, Cortana Research and RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, to work on next-generation capabilities for Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana. At Microsoft, we are constantly looking for opportunities to learn from colleagues – both inside and outside of the company. Andrew Shuman, Corporate Vice President of Cortana Engineering, told me that Cortana especially needs this energy because it is such…

February 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

QA model

A Joint Model for Question Answering and Question Generation

At the Microsoft Research Montreal lab, one of our primary research focuses is to advance the field of Question Answering. Automatic question-answering systems can provide humans with efficient access to vast amounts of information, and the task also acts as an important proxy for assessing machine literacy via reading comprehension. Researchers in psychology have observed that humans improve their reading comprehension by asking questions about the material at hand. Inspired by this phenomenon, our latest effort…

June 2017

Microsoft Research Blog

Project PrivTree: Blurring your “where” for location privacy

By Winnie Cui, Senior Research Manager, Microsoft Research Asia Data scientist, Anthony Tockar, used publicly available location data to show how celebrities can be tracked throughout New York City, while working on his Master’s Degree at Northwestern University. By cross-referencing public news and photos about celebrities hailing cabs in NYC, Tockar found out exactly where celebrities climbed into cabs, where they traveled and even how much they paid! As this example shows, location-based services, pulling…

January 2017

Microsoft Research Blog

Long-term collaboration takes aim at mobile browsing

By Lily Sun, Research Program Manager, Microsoft Research Asia As mobile browsing continues to consume an ever larger share of Internet services, the stakes of improving the mobile user experience have never been greater. That’s one of the reasons that Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA) and Peking University are embarking on a joint project to raise the quality of user experience (QoE) for mobile browsers. Building on the success of earlier collaborations, MSRA researcher Yunxin Liu will…

August 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

Theoretical and practical wonders of the web: the 25th International WWW Conference

By Kuansan Wang, Director, Internet Services Research Center, Microsoft Research Anyone reading the program for the 25th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW) would find it obvious that web innovation, powered by passionate scientists, users, and developers, continues to accelerate. At WWW this week, Microsoft Research hopes to connect with innovators and researchers to learn more about how they’re using and integrating our academic services. At last year’s WWW Conference in Florence, we released the Microsoft…

April 2016

Microsoft Research Blog