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. Analyzing ambiguity and word embeddings by probing semantic classes

    Word embeddings have had a big impact on many applications in natural language processing (NLP) and information retrieval. It is, therefore, crucial to open the blackbox and understand their meaning representation. We propose probing tasks for analyzing the meaning representation in word embeddings. Our tasks are classification based with word embeddings as the only input. We use semantic classes such as “food,” “organization,” and “animal” to define word senses and annotate words with them. By…

    July 26th, 2019

  2. Bringing the power of machine reading comprehension to specialized documents

    With the advent of AI assistants, initially developed for structured databases and manually curated knowledge graphs, answers to the types of basic fact-based questions people encounter during the course of regular conversation became keystrokes or a verbal cue away. What film won the Academy Award for best picture in 1998? (Titanic.) What’s the weather going to be like today? (Likely around 80° and sunny if you’re on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington.) What was…

    July 25th, 2019

  3. The KnowRef Coreference Corpus: a resource for training and evaluating common sense in AI

      AI has made major strides in the last decade, from beating the world champion of Go, to learning how to program, to telling fantastical short stories. However, a basic human trait continues to elude machines: common sense. Common sense is a big term with plenty of baggage, but it typically includes shared background knowledge (I know certain facts about the world, like "the sky is blue," and I know that you know them too),…

    July 23rd, 2019

  4. SIGIR 2019 Conference: Research leads to more efficient information access, management, and retrieval

    Microsoft researchers are delving beyond the boundaries of information retrieval to optimize how we access and manage information in different areas. Not only are they advancing the realm most synonymous with information retrieval, search engines, but they are also researching new information access processes, utilizing machine learning in email intent identification and task management applications. In these latter areas, one goal is to directly improve how an individual’s time is spent when interacting with information,…

    July 22nd, 2019

  5. Learning web search intent representations from massive web search logs

    Have you ever wondered what happens when you ask a search engine to search for something as seemingly simple as “how do you grill salmon”? Have you found yourself entering multiple searches before arriving at a webpage with a satisfying answer? Perhaps it was only after finally entering “how to cook salmon on a grill” that you found the webpage you wanted in the first place, leaving you wishing search engines simply had the intelligence…

    July 21st, 2019

  6. The future of productivity: People and tools that grow together

    Computers are disappearing. This doesn’t mean they’re actually going away, though. In fact, every day more and more of how we live, work, and interact is transformed by computers. But it does mean that technology has become so ubiquitous in recent years that our focus can now shift from our computers to what they enable us to do. Because computing is increasingly embedded in the world around us, it’s starting to help us in new…

    July 17th, 2019

  7. Making the future of work work for you with Dr. Johannes Gehrke

    Episode 83, July 17, 2019- Dr. Johannes Gehrke is a Microsoft Technical Fellow and head of Architecture and Machine Learning for the Intelligent Communications and Conversations Cloud in Microsoft’s Experiences and Devices division. But lest you think his lofty position makes him in any way superior to you, let me tell you, he knows who works for whom, and he’ll be the first to tell you that you are his boss! On today’s podcast, Dr.…

    July 17th, 2019

  8. Leveraging blockchain to make machine learning models more accessible

    Significant advances are being made in artificial intelligence, but accessing and taking advantage of the machine learning systems making these developments possible can be challenging, especially for those with limited resources. These systems tend to be highly centralized, their predictions are often sold on a per-query basis, and the datasets required to train them are generally proprietary and expensive to create on their own. Additionally, published models run the risk of becoming outdated if new…

    July 12th, 2019

  9. The brave new world of cloud-scale systems and networking with Dr. Lidong Zhou

    Episode 82, June 26, 2019- If you’re like me, you’re no longer amazed by how all your technologies can work for you. Rather, you’ve begun to take for granted that they simply should work for you. Instantly. All together. All the time. The fact that you’re not amazed is a testimony to the work that people like Dr. Lidong Zhou, Assistant Managing Director of Microsoft Research Asia, do every day. He oversees some of the…

    June 26th, 2019

  10. Microsoft makes AI debugging and visualization tool TensorWatch open source

    The rise of deep learning is accompanied by ever-increasing model complexity, larger datasets, and longer training times for models. When working on novel concepts, researchers often need to understand why training metrics are trending the way they are. So far, the available tools for machine learning training have focused on a “what you see is what you log” approach. As logging is relatively expensive, researchers and engineers tend to avoid it and rely on a…

    June 25th, 2019

  11. Introducing MASS – A pre-training method that outperforms BERT and GPT in sequence to sequence language generation tasks

    Editor’s note: Since 2018, pre-training has without a doubt become one of the hottest research topics in Natural Language Processing (NLP). By leveraging generalized language models like the BERT, GPT and XLNet, great breakthroughs have been achieved in natural language understanding. However, in sequence to sequence based language generation tasks, the popular pre-training methods have not achieved significant improvements. Now, researchers from Microsoft Research Asia have introduced MASS—a new pre-training method that achieves better results…

    June 23rd, 2019

  12. Game on with Dr. Chris Bishop and Phil Spencer

    Episode 81, June 19, 2019- Dr. Chris Bishop is a Microsoft Technical Fellow and director of MSR Cambridge, where he oversees an impressive portfolio of research including machine learning, AI, healthcare and gaming. Phil Spencer is the Executive Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft where he oversees everything from the design of the next Xbox console to the creation and release of blockbuster properties like Halo, Gears of War and Forza Motorsport. These two powerhouse…

    June 19th, 2019