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Microsoft AI News

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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Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies announce partnership using AI to decode immune system; diagnose, treat disease

The human immune system is an astonishing diagnostic system, continuously adapting itself to detect any signal of disease in the body. Essentially, the state of the immune system tells a story about virtually everything affecting a person’s health. It may sound like science fiction, but what if we could “read” this story? Our scientific understanding of human health would be fundamentally advanced. And more importantly, this would provide a foundation for a new generation of precise medical diagnostic and treatment options.l.

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Everyday AI: Microsoft showcases progress in infusing AI into core products

Artificial intelligence is playing a role in everything from helping blind people recognize currency to making search engines more intelligent and intuitive. At an event in San Francisco on Wednesday, Microsoft showcased a number of advances across its product line that use AI to help people get more nuanced information and assist with more complex needs.

These advances include:

  • AI in Office 365: Microsoft announced new Office 365 AI capabilities to help subscribers discover insights from data, leverage organizational knowledge, arrive on time and more.
  • Conversational bots: Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Azure Bot Service and the Language Understanding service, part of Microsoft Cognitive Services, and showcased customers including UPS, Molson Coors and Equadex who are using these services.
  • Cortana Skills Kit: Microsoft announced a number of new productivity features for Cortana, including updates to the Skills Kit. That enables developers to build more accessible, discoverable and engaging skills with skills suggestions and skills chaining.
  • Intelligent search in Bing: Microsoft’s Bing search engine announced new AI-powered search features that provide faster answers and more comprehensive information, and allow users to interact more naturally with the search engine.
  • Intelligent ad solutions: Bing Ads showcased how AI is being used to deliver intelligent and personalized audience targeting, campaign optimization tools and more customized ad experiences.
  • Reddit partnership: Microsoft and Reddit announced a partnership to deliver more intelligent search results by surfacing relevant Reddit conversations and AMAs in some answers. Microsoft also is bringing Reddit data to Power BI via Socialgist.
  • Seeing AI: Microsoft announced updates to Seeing AI, an app aimed at helping people who are blind or have low vision. New features include color and currency recognition, plus a musical light detector that uses sound to let people know if a light is on or off. Seeing AI is now available in 35 countries.
  • Putting numbers in perspective: If a U.S. user asks Bing how big Syria is, they learn the country is 71,498 square miles and about equal to the size of Florida. That’s part of a project that aims to help people make sense of the jumble of numbers they increasingly encounter in the digital world.
  • AI for Earth commitment: Microsoft announced this week that it is broadening its AI for Earth program and committing $50 million over the next five years to put artificial intelligence technology in the hands of individuals and organizations around the world who are working to protect the planet.
  • AI-powered health bot: Microsoft’s Healthcare NExT initiative announced a private preview of an AI-powered project designed to enable healthcare partners to easily create intelligent and compliant healthcare virtual assistants and chatbots.
  • AI in Photos: Just in time for the holidays, new intelligent features in the Photos app for Windows 10 make it easier to search and create videos from the thousands of photos people take each year.

Visual assets related to these announcements are available here

AI in the News