Microsoft Research Lab – Asia

Microsoft Research Lab – Asia

Established 1998

Computing in the 21st Century: Academic collaboration fosters the art of artificial intelligence

November 9, 2017

On October 19, 2017, in Harbin, China, Microsoft Research Asia and Harbin Institute of Technology jointly held the 19th annual Computing in the 21st Century conference to share advanced AI research results and opinions with more than 1,600 students and faculty members from local universities. This was the first time the conference was held in northeastern China.

The conference’s theme, “AI. The Road Ahead,” was amplified in keynote speeches by Peter Lee, corporate vice president of Microsoft Research NExT, and Hsiao-Wuen Hon, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group and Microsoft Research Asia.

Peter Lee, corporate vice president, Microsoft Research NExT

Peter Lee, corporate vice president, Microsoft Research NExT

Lee told attendees that fundamental research advances with new algorithms are making an incredible practical impact on AI today. But still, there are many barriers to both wider access to and adoption of AI technologies. “We need more (AI) artisans, and we need to create AI technologies that can be available to everyone.” Lee said.

Hsiao-Wuen Hon, corporate vice president, Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group and Microsoft Research Asia

Hsiao-Wuen Hon, corporate vice president, Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group and Microsoft Research Asia

Hon emphasized that, in recent years, there has been much progress in machine learning in the areas of computer vision, speech, natural language processing and other domains. Yet, there remain many challenging situations where better machine learning algorithms are necessary. By leveraging some of the recent work by Microsoft Research Asia in helping machines learn, such as dual learning and self-generated data learning, artificial intelligence will continue to make an ever bigger impact on society.

Computing in the 21st Century 2017 Keynote Speakers

From left to right: Chin-Yew Lin, principal research manager, Microsoft Research Asia, conference chairman; Raymond Mooney, professor at the University of Texas at Austin; Hsiao-Wuen Hon, corporate vice president, Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group and Microsoft Research Asia; Shang-Hua Teng, professor at the University of Southern California; Lise Getoor, professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz; John Hopcroft, 1986 Turing Award recipient; and Peter Lee, corporate vice president, Microsoft Research NExT.

Other distinguished speakers shared their views on artificial intelligence and computing, as well. Turing Award recipient John Hopcroft analyzed the role that machine learning plays in the artificial intelligence revolution that is changing our world; University of California, Santa Cruz, Professor Lise Getoor focused on the big graph data science that enables artificial intelligence algorithm optimizations; Raymond Mooney from the University of Texas at Austin discussed profligate promotion in the deep learning revolution; and Shang-Hua Teng from the University of Southern California shared scalable algorithms for big data and network analysis.

Dongsheng Sun, vice governor of Heilongjiang Province, and Yu Zhou, president of Harbin Institute of Technology, attended the conference and made remarks. They both recognized the leading position of Microsoft in the world of artificial intelligence development, and expressed their belief that with the long-term collaborations between Microsoft, academia and industry, there will continue to be great contributions made toward fostering talent and innovating curriculum. Zhou said, “We look forward to more international collaborations with the institutes of the distinguished speakers and with Microsoft to further elevate our quality in education and research.”

Dongsheng Sun and Yu Zhou gave speeches welcoming attendees to the conference opening.

Dongsheng Sun, vice governor of Heilongjiang Province, and Yu Zhou, president of Harbin Institute of Technology, gave speeches welcoming attendees to the conference opening.