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.

  1. AI Residency: Gaining skills in machine learning through mentorship and real-world applications

    In September last year, the Microsoft AI Residency program graduated its first class. The second class is already settled in and undertaking an exciting range of projects, and recruitment for the third class is underway! The AI Residency program is a 12-month program for early- and mid-career professionals to train as research software engineers in either Redmond, WA or Cambridge, UK. Both programs share common goals, with some differences due to the location of various…

    March 3rd, 2020

  2. The next generation of developer tools for data programming webinar

    March 9, 2020 10:00 AM (PT) - In this webinar led by Partner Researcher Dr. Ben Zorn, follow the path of the revolution that empowers more people to easily leverage computational resources for problem solving. You will examine the incredible opportunities and technical challenges of empowering users to quickly build correct and meaningful spreadsheets. The focus here includes recent efforts to combine spatial analysis, statistical analysis, and deep learning to find bugs in spreadsheets. You will also…

    March 1st, 2020

  3. Exploring the fundamentals of multi-armed bandits

    If you haven't ever been in a casino, you may have found yourself asking one very pertinent question: On which slot machine am I going to hit the jackpot? Standing in front of a bank of identical-looking machines, you have only instinct to go on. It isn’t until you start putting your money into these one-armed bandits, as they’re also known, that you get a sense of which are hot and which are not, and…

    February 27th, 2020

  4. Private AI Bootcamp: Microsoft researchers share knowledge on cryptography, security, and privacy with PhD students

    The fields of cryptography and machine learning (ML) are evolving at a rapid pace and are each complex in their own ways. The Cryptography and Privacy Research Group at Microsoft Research has led the way in creating a new research area at the intersection of these two important fields. But there is a shortage of training programs and mentoring in new skills and techniques, like homomorphic encryption, and a high demand for people who have…

    February 27th, 2020

  5. Neural architecture search, imitation learning and the optimized pipeline with Dr. Debadeepta Dey

    Episode 108 | February 26, 2020 - Dr. Debadeepta Dey is a Principal Researcher in the Adaptive Systems and Interaction group at MSR and he’s currently exploring several lines of research that may help bridge the gap between perception and planning for autonomous agents, teaching them to make decisions under uncertainty and even to stop and ask for directions when they get lost! On the podcast, Dr. Dey talks about how his latest work in…

    February 26th, 2020

  6. EMEA scholarship program continues to foster collaboration with academia while new research award targets rising talent

    Cecily Morrison wants to build technology that enables people to live their lives the way they want and accomplish things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to. The Principal Researcher landed on the personal mission years before joining Microsoft Research. Experiences first teaching children robotics and then working with the United Kingdom’s National Health Service applying existing technology to healthcare scenarios ignited the desire. Since then, she’s helped develop a system for monitoring the progression of…

    February 25th, 2020

  7. Data Visualization: Bridging the gap between users and information webinar

    Feb. 19, 2020 - In this webinar led by Microsoft researcher Dr. Steven Drucker, Partner Research Manager and manager of the Visualization and Interactive Data Analysis (VIDA) Group, learn how information visualization provides an interactive bridge between the raw data and the human user. You will gain an understanding of basic theory behind the visual representation of datasets and explore the ways that psychology impacts our interpretations of visually represented data. Dr. Drucker also gives…

    February 23rd, 2020

  8. Democratizing data, thinking backwards and setting North Star goals with Dr. Donald Kossmann

    Episode 107 | February 19, 2020 - Dr. Donald Kossmann is a Distinguished Scientist who thinks big, and as the Director of Microsoft Research’s flagship lab in Redmond, it’s his job to inspire others to think big, too. But don’t be fooled. For him, thinking big involves what he calls thinking backwards, a framework of imagining the future, defining progress in reverse order and executing against landmarks along an uncertain path. On the podcast, Dr.…

    February 19th, 2020

  9. Five ways your academic research skills transfer to industry

    Graduate students are often coached to pursue a career in higher education, yet the number of available tenure-track positions falls far short of the number of candidates looking to fill them. In reality, about 14 percent of graduates with advanced science, engineering, and health degrees obtain a position in academia within three years of graduating, according to a 2018 National Science Foundation report. Instead, the vast majority of those with a PhD will pursue a…

    February 19th, 2020

  10. AI for AI: Metareasoning for modular computing systems

    A new document in a word processor can be a magical thing, a blank page onto which thoughts and ideas are put forth as quickly as we can input text. We can select words and phrases to underline and highlight and add images, shapes, and bulleted lists, and when we need editorial help, we can run a grammar and spell checker. The experience can feel so seamless at times that perhaps we don’t give much…

    February 18th, 2020

  11. Turing-NLG: A 17-billion-parameter language model by Microsoft

    This figure was adapted from a similar image published in DistilBERT. Turing Natural Language Generation (T-NLG) is a 17 billion parameter language model by Microsoft that outperforms the state of the art on many downstream NLP tasks. We present a demo of the model, including its freeform generation, question answering, and summarization capabilities, to academics for feedback and research purposes. <|endoftext|>  - This summary was generated by the Turing-NLG language model itself. Massive deep learning…

    February 13th, 2020

  12. ZeRO & DeepSpeed: New system optimizations enable training models with over 100 billion parameters

    The latest trend in AI is that larger natural language models provide better accuracy; however, larger models are difficult to train because of cost, time, and ease of code integration. Microsoft is releasing an open-source library called DeepSpeed, which vastly advances large model training by improving scale, speed, cost, and usability, unlocking the ability to train 100-billion-parameter models. DeepSpeed is compatible with PyTorch. One piece of that library, called ZeRO, is a new parallelized optimizer…

    February 13th, 2020