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. Advancing accessibility on the web, in virtual reality, and in the classroom

    At the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems conference in Glasgow, Scotland this May, researchers from Microsoft’s Redmond and UK labs, together with our university collaborators, will be presenting several papers and demos that explore how to design technologies more inclusively, to support accessibility by users with cognitive and/or sensory disabilities. Microsoft researchers Adam Fourney, Kevin Larson, and myself teamed up with University of Washington researchers Qisheng Li and Katharina Reinecke to…

    April 18th, 2019

  2. Prototype tablet tricked out with sensors just proves Mom was always right: Posture is important!

    The mobility of tablets affords interaction from a wide diversity of postures: Hunched over a desk with brow furrowed in concentration. On the go with the tablet gripped in one hand, while operating it with the other. Or kicked back on a couch to relax with some good old-fashioned Cat vs. Laser Pointer internet-video action. This dexterity of situation, task, and mood are a big part of what makes tablets so appealing. But as the…

    April 17th, 2019

  3. AI for Earth with Dr. Lucas Joppa

    Episode 72, April 17, 2019 - We hear a lot these days about “AI for good” and the efforts of many companies to harness the power of artificial intelligence to solve some of our biggest environmental challenges. It’s rare, however, that you find a company willing to bring its environmental bona fides all the way to the C Suite. Well, meet Dr. Lucas Joppa. A former environmental and computer science researcher at MSR who was…

    April 17th, 2019

  4. Less pain, more gain: A simple method for VAE training with less of that KL-vanishing agony

    There is a growing interest in exploring the use of variational auto-encoders (VAE), a deep latent variable model, for text generation. Compared to the standard RNN-based language model that generates sentences one word at a time without the explicit guidance of a global sentence representation, VAE is designed to learn a probabilistic representation of global language features such as topic, sentiment or language style, and makes the text generation more controllable. For example, VAE can…

    April 15th, 2019

  5. Making ‘micromoments’ work for you

    Imagine you’ve been asked to write a crucial document for your company, perhaps a detailed outline of its long-term strategy. You’re excited, but don’t know when you’ll find the time to write it. As you sit in a meeting later that day, waiting for the person who arranged it, you envision the outline and the starting sentence or two. You realize you might have to put in some late nights and early mornings to get…

    April 12th, 2019

  6. Holograms, spatial anchors and the future of computer vision with Dr. Marc Pollefeys

    On today’s podcast, Dr. Pollefeys brings us up to speed on the latest in computer vision research, including his innovative work with Azure Spatial Anchors, tells us how devices like Kinect and HoloLens may have cut their teeth in gaming, but turned out to be game changers for both research and industrial applications, and explains how, while it’s still early days now, in the future, you’re much more likely to put your computer on your…

    April 10th, 2019

  7. Rapidly enabling autonomy at scale with simulation

    Autonomous Systems have attracted a lot of attention as they promise to improve efficiency, reduce cost and most importantly take on tasks that are too dangerous for humans. However, building a real-world autonomous system that would operate safely at scale is a very difficult task. For example, the first self-sufficient autonomous cars were demonstrated by Carnegie Mellon University’s Navigation Laboratory in the 1980s and while there has been great progress, achieving safe and reliable autonomy…

    April 8th, 2019

  8. Enabling design with Ann Paradiso

    Episode 70, April 3, 2019 - On today’s podcast, Ann tells us all about life in the extreme constraint design lane, explains what a PALS is, and tells us some incredibly entertaining stories about how the eye tracking technology behind the Eye Controlled Wheelchair and the Hands-Free Music Project has made its way from Microsoft’s campus to some surprising events around the country, including South by Southwest and Mardi Gras.

    April 3rd, 2019

  9. EverCrypt cryptographic provider offers developers greater security assurances

    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 high-performance industrial-grade EverCrypt cryptographic provider, is the second in a series exploring the groundbreaking work, which is available on GitHub now. If you’re reading this blog post right now, you’re likely using HTTPS, the most popular application of the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. In…

    April 2nd, 2019

  10. Giant steps and liberating spaces – Virtual Reality is making cool moves

    Cool innovations are happening in how virtual reality researchers are resolving natural locomotion challenges and how they relate to story space, as well as in liberating users from the small, object-free player settings of today, to allow them to safely roam the real world. Virtual Reality (VR) has become familiar to many people in past years. Users can put on a head-mounted display (HMD) and immediately be transferred to an imaginary world where everything they…

    March 22nd, 2019

  11. Project Triton and the physics of sound with Dr. Nikunj Raghuvanshi

    Episode 68, March 20, 2019 - Today, Dr. Raghuvanshi talks about the unique challenges of simulating realistic sound on a budget (both money and CPU), explains how classic ideas in concert hall acoustics need a fresh take for complex games like Gears of War, reveals the computational secret sauce you need to deliver the right sound at the right time, and tells us about Project Triton, an acoustic system that models how real sound waves…

    March 20th, 2019

  12. Advancing Human-Centered AI

    We’re excited about the formal launch of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) on Monday, March 18th. We resonate with Fei-Fei Li, John Etchemendy, and other leaders at Stanford on the promise of taking an interdisciplinary approach to AI, on a pathway guided by insights about human intelligence, and one that carefully considers the goals and needs of people and society. Microsoft Research is enthusiastic about partnering with Stanford University on a shared…

    March 18th, 2019