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. 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 14th, 2018

  2. Rapid Adaptation and Metalearning with Conditionally Shifted Neurons

    The Machine Comprehension team at MSR-Montreal recently developed a neural mechanism for metalearning that we call conditionally shifted neurons. Conditionally shifted neurons (CSNs) adapt their activation values rapidly to new data to help neural networks solve new tasks. They do this with task-specific, additive shifts retrieved from a key-value memory module populated from just a few examples. Intuitively, the process is as follows: first, the model stores shift vectors that correspond to demonstrated class labels…

    May 11th, 2018

  3. Clouds, catapults and life after the end of Moore’s Law with Dr. Doug Burger

    Episode 23, May 9, 2018 - Dr. Burger talks about how advances in AI and deep machine learning have placed new acceleration demands on current hardware and computer architecture, offers some observations about the demise of Moore’s Law, and shares his vision of what life might look like in a post-CPU, post-von-Neumann computing world.

    May 9th, 2018

  4. Customized neural machine translation with Microsoft Translator

    Released in preview this week at Build 2018, the new Microsoft Translator custom feature lets users customize neural machine translation systems. These customizations can be applied to both text and speech translation workflows. Microsoft Translator released neural machine translation (NMT) in 2016. NMT provided major advances in translation quality over the then industry-standard statistical machine translation (SMT) technology. Because NMT better captures the context of full sentences before translating them, it provides higher quality, more…

    May 7th, 2018

  5. Machine learning and the incredible flying robot with Dr. Ashish Kapoor

    Episode 22, May 2, 2018 - Dr. Kapoor talks about how cutting-edge machine learning techniques are empowering a new generation of autonomous vehicles, and tells us all about AirSim, an innovative platform that’s helping bridge the simulator-to-reality gap, paving the way for safer, more robust real-world AI systems of all kinds.

    May 2nd, 2018

  6. Learning from Source Code

    Over the last five years, deep learning-based methods have revolutionised a wide range of applications, for example those requiring understanding of pictures, speech and natural language. For computer scientists, a naturally arising question is whether computers learn to understand source code? It appears to be a trivial question at first glance because programming languages indeed are designed to be understood by computers. However, many software bugs are in fact instances of Do what I mean,…

    May 1st, 2018

  7. Boundary-seeking GANs: A new method for adversarial generation of discrete data

    Generative models are an important subset of machine learning goals and tasks that require realistic and statistically accurate generation of target data. Among all available generative models, generative adversarial networks (GANs) have emerged recently as a leading and state-of-the-art method, particularly in image generation tasks. While highly successful with continuous data, generation of discrete data with GANs remains a challenging problem that limits its applications in language and other important domains. In this post, we…

    April 30th, 2018

  8. Neural-Guided Deductive Search: A best of both worlds approach to program synthesis

    Program synthesis — automatically generating a program that satisfies a given specification — is a major challenge in AI. In addition to changing the way we design software, it has the potential to revolutionize task automation. End users without programming skills can easily provide input-output examples of the desired program behavior. The Flash Fill feature in Microsoft Excel, a particularly successful application of this technology, demonstrates that a single example is often sufficient to generate…

    April 27th, 2018

  9. AI, machine learning and the reasoning machine with Dr. Geoff Gordon

    Episode 21, April 25, 2018 - Dr. Gordon gives us a brief history of AI, including his assessment of why we might see a break in the weather-pattern of AI winters, talks about how collaboration is essential to innovation in machine learning, shares his vision of the mindset it takes to tackle the biggest questions in AI, and reveals his life-long quest to make computers less… well, less computer-like.

    April 25th, 2018

  10. Measuring employment demand with internet search data

    The United States, along with much of the world, is in the midst of an economic transition from manual to intellectual labor. The changing nature of work, including the automation of labor, is an important issue facing society, with implications not only for our standard of living but also for socio-economic and political divisions. With this backdrop in mind, at Microsoft Research we hope to augment the study of employment in the U.S. Traditionally jobs…

    April 25th, 2018

  11. HEARING IS BELIEVING – Researchers’ innovation provides a richer web-browsing experience for people who are blind

    Imagine for a moment that you are blind and are navigating the web using a screen reader to hear websites rather than see them. Imagine that the article you have navigated to includes images. To understand the content and significance, you are relying on your screen reader to narrate the alt text associated with each image, a textual description that should be provided by the web page author. Now imagine sitting there and hearing the…

    April 23rd, 2018