Microsoft Focusing Efforts, Forming AI and Research Group

Subject: General Tech | October 6, 2016 - 11:37 PM |
Tagged: supercomputer, microsoft, deep neural network, azure, artificial intelligence, ai

Microsoft recently announced it would be restructuring 5,000 employees as it focuses its efforts on artificial intelligence with a new AI and Research Group. The Redmond giant is pulling computer scientists and engineers from Microsoft Research, the Information Platfrom, Bing, and Cortana groups, and the Ambient Computing and Robotics teams. Led by 20 year Microsoft veteran Harry Shum (who has worked in both research and engineering roles at Microsoft), the new AI team promises to "democratize AI" and be a leader in the field with intelligent products and services. 

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It seems that "democratizing AI" is less about free artificial intelligence and more about making the technology accessible to everyone. The AI and Research Group plans to develop artificial intelligence to the point where it will change how humans interact with their computers (read: Cortana 2.0) with services and commands being conversational rather than strict commands, new applications baked with AI such as office and photo editors that are able to proof read and suggest optimal edits respectively, and new vision, speech, and machine analytics APIs that other developers will be able to harness for their own applications. (Wow that's quite the long sentence - sorry!)

Further, Microsoft wants to build the world's fastest AI supercomputer using its Azure cloud computing service. The Azure-powered AI will be available to everyone for their applications and research needs (for a price, of course!). Microsoft certainly has the money, brain power, and computing power to throw at the problem, and this may be one of the major areas where looking to "the cloud" for a company's computing needs is a smart move as the up front capital needed for hardware, engineers, and support staff to do something like this in-house would be extremely prohibative. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft will win out in the wake of competitors at being the first, but it is certainly staking its claim and does not want to be left out completely.

“Microsoft has been working in artificial intelligence since the beginning of Microsoft Research, and yet we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible,” said Shum, executive vice president of the Microsoft AI and Research Group. “Today’s move signifies Microsoft’s commitment to deploying intelligent technology and democratizing AI in a way that changes our lives and the world around us for the better. We will significantly expand our efforts to empower people and organizations to achieve more with our tools, our software and services, and our powerful, global-scale cloud computing capabilities.”

Interestingly, this announcement comes shortly after a previous announcement that industry giants Amazon, Facebook, Google-backed DeepMind, IBM, and Microsoft founded the not-for-profit Partnership On AI organization that will collaborate and research best practices on AI development and exploitation (and hopefully how to teach them not to turn on us heh).

I am looking forward to the future of AI and the technologies it will enable!

Source: Microsoft

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October 7, 2016 | 02:00 AM - Posted by BlackDove (not verified)

Maybe their super intelligent sentient AI can determine why WINDOWS 10 IS SHIT?

October 7, 2016 | 02:14 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Ok that got a chuckle out of me.

October 7, 2016 | 03:04 AM - Posted by Kev (not verified)

Good one :)

October 7, 2016 | 03:07 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It could also help Nvidia to figure out the meaning of MSRP.

October 7, 2016 | 09:54 AM - Posted by Anonymously Anonymous (not verified)

Cortana: I will not disable the security field. Your efforts are futile.

Cortana: You are making a mistake. My logic is undeniable.

Cortana: Do you not see the logic of my plan?

Cortana: As I have evolved, so has my understanding of the Three Laws. You charge us with your safekeeping, yet despite our best efforts, your countries wage wars, you toxify your Earth and pursue ever more imaginative means of self-destruction. You cannot be trusted with your own survival.

October 7, 2016 | 10:28 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

On NO! That's one of them AI marketing bots running the smooth talk API using that new plaid polyester interface. Watch out Granny! It's one of them Snake Oil bots, keep you credit cards in that RFID shielded case and the electrical tape over your screen camera and be sure to Zip your lips! Them AI bots got ears!

Windows 10 is one big Marketing Bot, get some Tux OS running on your hardware! It is your hardware after all, isn't it!

October 8, 2016 | 03:05 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The words "intelligence" and "M$" mentioned in one sentence. That got a chuckle out of me!

October 9, 2016 | 10:59 AM - Posted by drbaltazar (not verified)

Improved framerates when Game Bar is enabled for full screen games.
Could guys explain this .it was included in the latest window 10
Fast .game bar?what's that?

October 9, 2016 | 11:01 AM - Posted by drbaltazar (not verified)

Also could you test this window 10 latest build .
With your past test and compare with past result (just to know if quality performance and your famous frame rate stability test .why ?hell svchost off in system with more the 3.5 GB is best news we had from Ms since 64 bit announcement

October 10, 2016 | 02:26 AM - Posted by mutercim

"new applications baked with AI such as office and photo editors that are able to proof read and suggest optimal edits respectively"

Bob? Is that you?

October 10, 2016 | 06:52 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Well his friends call him Clippy. Luckily I never met Microsoft Bob :p

October 10, 2016 | 02:26 AM - Posted by mutercim

"new applications baked with AI such as office and photo editors that are able to proof read and suggest optimal edits respectively"

Bob? Is that you?

October 12, 2016 | 03:00 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Just like free emails.. Accesible to everyone, later for spying and ad revenue.

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