Portrait of Patrice Simard

Patrice Simard

Distinguished Engineer, Research Manager


Patrice Simard is a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft Research, Redmond. He is passionate about finding new ways to combine engineering and science in the field of machine learning. Simard’s research is currently focused on making machine learning widely accessible for replicating tasks easily done by humans.

He received a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Rochester in 1991. Simard then worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories before joining Microsoft Research in 1998. He was Chief Scientist and General Manager of Live Labs Research in 2006 and Chief Scientist of Microsoft’s AdCenter in 2009. In 2012, he returned to Microsoft Research to create the Computer-Human Interactive Learning (CHIL) group. In 2015, he became Deputy Managing Director at Microsoft Research.





Short Bio

I am a Distinguished Engineer and a Deputy Managing Director at Microsoft Research. My research interests include Machine Learning, Algorithms, User Interfaces, Vision, and Signal Processing.

When not managing, I am working on the Machine Teaching aspects of ML. My focus is on the teacher rather than the learner. I optimize productivity metrics such as: human efficacy to achieve a generalization target, cost of maintenance, scalability with the number of teachers, transferability, interpretability, and resilience to adversarial teachers.

After a long quest for the best prototyping language, I have settled on F#.


Machine teaching with Dr. Patrice Simard

Dr. Patrice SimardEpisode 78 | May 29, 2019 | Machine learning is a powerful tool that enables computers to learn by observing the world, recognizing patterns and self-training via experience. Much like humans. But while machines perform well when they can extract knowledge from large amounts of labeled data…

Microsoft Research Blog | May 29, 2019

“Machine teaching” is a thing, and Microsoft wants to own it

Patrice Simard, Alicia Edelman Pelton, Riham MansourMicrosoft is rallying behind a new buzzword as it tries to sell businesses on artificial intelligence. It’s called “machine teaching,” and it’s loosely defined by Microsoft as a set of tools that human experts in any field can use to train AI on their own. After steadily developing and acquiring some of these tools…

FastCompany | April 23, 2018

Machine teaching: How people’s expertise makes AI even more powerful

Mark Hammond, GM, Business AI at Microsoft, photographed at Bravern 2 in Bellevue, Wash., Wednesday, April 3, 2019. Mark was Founder and CEO of Bonsai, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2018.(Photo by Dan DeLong)Most people wouldn’t think to teach five-year-olds how to hit a baseball by handing them a bat and ball, telling them to toss the objects into the air in a zillion different combinations and hoping they figure out how the two things connect. And yet, this is in some ways how we approach machine learning today…

Microsoft The AI Blog | April 23, 2018

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