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. Project Everest: Advancing the science of program proof

    Project Everest is a multiyear collaborative effort focused on building a verified, secure communications stack designed to improve the security of HTTPS, a key internet safeguard. This post—about the proving methodology and verification tools of Project Everest—is the third in a series exploring the groundbreaking work, which is available on GitHub now. Building, deploying, and maintaining software at scale is a large engineering effort, and when that software is intertwined with machine-checked proofs of correctness,…

    September 5th, 2019

  2. Inclusive design for all, or ICT4D and 4U! with Dr. Ed Cutrell

    Episode 88, September 4, 2019- Dr. Ed Cutrell is a Principal Researcher in the Ability group at Microsoft Research and he’s convinced that great technology should be available to everyone. Working in the fields of Accessibility and Information and Communication Technologies for Development (aka ICT4D), his research has explored computing solutions for people across the resource and ability spectrum, both here and around the world. Today, Dr. Cutrell gives us an overview of his work…

    September 4th, 2019

  3. Rocket-fast embedded TypeScript for MakeCode Arcade

    When we began developing Microsoft MakeCode, a computing education platform, it was all about making programming easier, more engaging, and just plain friendlier. After all, if we were going to inspire the next generation of coders, easier entry into the world of computer science would be important. To accomplish this, we designed a high-level programming language with text and graphical input modalities along with a simple yet powerful set of programming libraries. Today, the language,…

    September 3rd, 2019

  4. Microsoft Icecaps: An open-source toolkit for conversation modeling

    How we act, including how we speak, is more often than not determined by the situation we find ourselves in. We wouldn’t necessarily use the same tone and language with friends during a night out bowling as we would with colleagues during an office meeting. We tailor dialogue to appropriately fit the scenario. If trained conversational agents are to continue evolving into dependable resources people can turn to for assistance, they’ll need to be trained…

    August 29th, 2019

  5. HE compilers for Private AI and other game changers with Dr. Olli Saarikivi

    Episode 87, August 28, 2019- As computing moves to the cloud, there is an increasing need for privacy in AI. In an ideal world, users would have the ability to compute on encrypted data without sacrificing performance. Enter Dr. Olli Saarikivi, a post-doctoral researcher in the RiSE group at MSR. He, along with a stellar group of cross-disciplinary colleagues, are bridging the gap with CHET, a compiler and runtime for homomorphic evaluation of tensor programs,…

    August 28th, 2019

  6. First TextWorld Problems, the competition: Using text-based games to advance capabilities of AI agents

    Public competitions often help to advance the state of the art in challenging research problems. They frame a question, provide relevant data, and define evaluation metrics so that researchers across the world can work toward a shared goal—and ultimately learn from each other’s advances. The TextWorld team at Microsoft Research Montreal proposed “First TextWorld Problems” (FTWP), a machine learning competition that ran from January 2019 to July 2019, to encourage research on machines that interact…

    August 21st, 2019

  7. Machine reading comprehension with Dr. T.J. Hazen

    Episode 86, August 21, 2019- The ability to read and understand unstructured text, and then answer questions about it, is a common skill among literate humans. But for machines? Not so much. At least not yet! And not if Dr. T.J. Hazen, Senior Principal Research Manager in the Engineering and Applied Research group at MSR Montreal, has a say. He’s spent much of his career working on machine speech and language understanding, and particularly, of…

    August 21st, 2019

  8. Who’s to blame? Debugging Internet performance for Azure users with BlameIt

    Microsoft Azure cloud hosts a wide variety of services, and Azure has hundreds of network edge locations worldwide across the globe’s six continents to host those services. The Azure locations host many interactive (latency-sensitive) services that cater to consumer and enterprise clients covering a broad set of products around productivity, search, communications, and storage. These Azure edge locations are the first stop in the Microsoft network that customers hit, and with edge locations spread out…

    August 15th, 2019

  9. Live video analytics and research as Test Cricket with Dr. Ganesh Ananthanarayanan

    Episode 85, August 14, 2019 - In an era of unprecedented advances in AI and machine learning, current gen systems and networks are being challenged by an unprecedented level of complexity and cost. Fortunately, Dr. Ganesh Ananthanarayanan, a researcher in the Mobility and Networking group at MSR, is up for a challenge. And, it seems, the more computationally intractable the better! A prolific researcher who’s interested in all aspects of systems and networking, he’s on…

    August 14th, 2019

  10. Project Malmo competition returns with student organizers and a new mission: To democratize reinforcement learning

    When I was asked about my favorite movie in a game with friends after my wedding ceremony, I replied Star Wars. That was about two decades ago, and, yes, it’s still the case. I especially like Return of the Jedi. The third installment in the original trilogy is almost perfect to me. Luke Skywalker returns to fight back against the Empire as a member of the Rebel Alliance with the help of his old friend…

    August 9th, 2019

  11. Optics for the Cloud Research Alliance establishes collaborative research approach to improving cloud technology

    The cloud is an enormous success story. Microsoft Azure, the company’s cloud offering, was launched in 2010. It has grown by more than ten times in the past five years and is now operating in 54 regions around the world. Azure Chief Technology Officer, Mark Russinovich, asserts that “the fundamental disruption that the cloud is creating is based on instant access to compute and infinite storage” and thereby sets challenging targets for key cloud infrastructure…

    August 7th, 2019

  12. Beautiful data with Dr. Nathalie Riche

    Episode 84, August 7, 2019 - Dr. Nathalie Riche envisions a future in which all of our data will be accessible, meaningful, compelling and artistic. And as a researcher in human computer interaction and information visualization at Microsoft Research, she’s working on technical tools that will help us wrangle our data, extract knowledge from it, and communicate with it in a memorable, persuasive and aesthetically pleasing way. In other words, she wants our data to…

    August 7th, 2019