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Microsoft AI News

Microsoft reaches a historic milestone, using AI to match human performance in translating news from Chinese to English

A team of Microsoft researchers said Wednesday that they believe they have created the first machine translation system that can translate sentences of news articles from Chinese to English with the same quality and accuracy as a person.

Researchers in the company’s Asia and U.S. labs said that their system achieved human parity on a commonly used test set of news stories, called newstest2017, which was developed by a group of industry and academic partners and released at a research conference called WMT17 last fall. To ensure the results were both accurate and on par with what people would have done, the team hired external bilingual human evaluators, who compared Microsoft’s results to two independently produced human reference translations.

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In order for scientists to make breakthroughs that could help lead to cures for pediatric cancers, researchers around the world need to be able to easily share and collaborate on genomic data. That’s why, in 2010, computational biologist Jinghui Zhang and her team at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis started uploading anonymized genomes of their patients’ healthy and cancerous cells to public data repositories.

“We realized that it was very hard for people to download the data and use the data for their research because of the sheer size and volume of the data,” said Zhang. “So, St. Jude started to seriously explore other ways to facilitate data sharing with the global research community.”

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Microsoft announces significant expansion of Montreal research lab, new director

Microsoft plans to significantly expand its Montreal research lab and has hired a renowned artificial intelligence expert, Geoffrey Gordon, to be the lab’s new research director.

The company said Wednesday that it hopes to double the size of Microsoft Research Montreal within the next two years, to as many as 75 technical experts. The expansion comes as Montreal is becoming a worldwide hub for groundbreaking work in the fields of machine learning and deep learning, which are core to AI advances.

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Microsoft researchers build a bot that draws what you tell it to

If you’re handed a note that asks you to draw a picture of a bird with a yellow body, black wings and a short beak, chances are you’ll start with a rough outline of a bird, then glance back at the note, see the yellow part and reach for a yellow pen to fill in the body, read the note again and reach for a black pen to draw the wings and, after a final check, shorten the beak and define it with a reflective glint. Then, for good measure, you might sketch a tree branch where the bird rests.

Now, there’s a bot that can do that, too.

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The Future Computed: Artificial Intelligence and its role in society

Today Microsoft is releasing a new book, The Future Computed: Artificial Intelligence and its role in society. The two of us have written the foreword for the book, and our teams collaborated to write its contents. As the title suggests, the book provides our perspective on where AI technology is going and the new societal issues it has raised.

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Microsoft creates AI that can read a document and answer questions about it as well as a person

Microsoft researchers have created technology that uses artificial intelligence to read a document and answer questions about it about as well as a human.

It’s a major milestone in the push to have search engines such as Bing and intelligent assistants such as Cortana interact with people and provide information in more natural ways, much like people communicate with each other

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Researchers use AI to improve accuracy of gene editing with CRISPR

A collaboration between computer scientists and biologists from research institutions across the United States is yielding a set of computational tools that increase efficiency and accuracy when deploying CRISPR, a gene-editing technology that is transforming industries from healthcare to agriculture.

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Cortana coming to more devices in 2018 through Devices SDK and new reference designs

2017 was an exciting and productive year for Cortana — from launching the Harman Kardon Invoke intelligent speaker, releasing our Skills Kit, and introducing many new features and capabilities — we continue to grow the Cortana ecosystem to help people get things done across work and life.

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AI in the News