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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. ChatPainter: Improving text-to-image generation by using dialogue

    Generating realistic images from a text description is a challenging task for a bot. A solution to this task has potential applications in the video game and image editing industries, among many others. Recently, researchers at Microsoft and elsewhere have been exploring ways to enable bots to draw realistic images in defined domains, such as birds, faces or furniture. However, because there is a limited amount of annotated paired image-caption data available, models have difficulty…

    April 23rd, 2018

  6. Manipulating Space and Time in Mixed Reality

    Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality each has distinct advantages when it comes to bringing digital capabilities into our everyday lives. Everything users see, including the environment and every object can be controlled and changed. This also means that what users see doesn’t necessarily mirror the real world. If another user should enter the room, for example, she would not be represented in VR. AR, on the other hand, lets users enrich their physical environment with…

    April 23rd, 2018

  7. Uncanny Valley and the Sense of Touch

    The notion of an “uncanny valley” is well known in robotics[1]. This is when increasing the realism of a robot’s human-like appearance can lead to feelings of unease—or even revulsion—as a robot becomes more and more (but never quite fully) human-like[2]. While this uncanny valley is related to sight, researchers wondered if an uncanny valley experience also exists for the sense of touch—also known as haptics. In a paper recently published in Science Robotics[3], a…

    April 18th, 2018

  8. Getting good VIBEs from your computer with Dr. Mary Czerwinski

    Episode 20, April 18, 2018 - In a world where humans are increasingly interacting with AI systems, Dr. Mary Czerwinski, Principal Researcher and Research Manager at Microsoft Research, believes emotions may be fundamental to our interactions with machines. And through her team’s work in affective computing, the quest to bring Artificial Emotional Intelligence – or AEI – to our computers may be closer than we think.

    April 18th, 2018

  9. From research idea to research-powered product: behind the scenes with Azure Sphere

    At RSA Conference 2018, Microsoft announced Azure Sphere, previewing a unique new solution to help connect and secure the most populous category of computing today: the tens of billions of devices powered by microcontrollers (MCUs). Azure Sphere represents an opportunity for Microsoft and our partners to serve a new era of computing with securely connected devices at tremendous scale. Just as Microsoft brought affordable PCs to every desk, with Azure Sphere we aim to enable…

    April 16th, 2018

  10. Platform for Situated Intelligence: Tools and Framework for Multimodal Interaction Research

    Over the last decade, advances in machine learning coupled with the availability of large amounts of data have led to significant progress on long-standing AI challenges. In domains like computer vision, speech recognition, machine translation and image captioning, machines have reached and sometimes even exceeded human performance levels on specific problem sets. However, building end-to-end, multimodal interactive systems that bring together multiple AI technologies and interact with people in the open world remains an important…

    April 13th, 2018

  11. Tales from the Crypt(ography) Lab with Dr. Kristin Lauter

    Episode 19, April 11, 2018 - Dr. Lauter tells us why she feels lucky to do math for a living, explains the singular beauty of elliptic curves and the singular difficulty of supersingular isogeny graphs, talks about how homomorphic encryption allows us to operate on, while still protecting, our most sensitive data, and shares her dream of one day, seeing a Grace Hopper-like conference to celebrate women in mathematics.

    April 11th, 2018

  12. Second homomorphic encryption standardization workshop delivers the goods

    What an exciting two days at the Second Homomorphic Encryption Standardization Workshop at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. More than 70 participants from 10 countries gathered together for two intense days of panels, discussions and planning and walked away with a significant milestone: the first draft standard for homomorphic encryption, Homomorphic Encryption Standard Section 1.0 and Homomorphic Encryption Standard Section 2.0. HES 1.0 standardizes the encryption schemes and HES 2.0 recommends parameter choices to achieve security.…

    April 10th, 2018