Microsoft Teams, improving health care with AI and a way for kids with visual impairment to create code — Weekend Reading, March 17 edition

This week was a showcase of new technologies helping people to live, work and function better, from a digital workspace for teams to artificial intelligence for improving patient outcomes to a new physical programming language that enables children with visual impairment to create computer code. Let’s take a look. Microsoft Teams became generally available for Office 365 customers around the world in 181 markets and 19 languages. The new chat-based … Read more »

Making drones safer, teeing off with high-tech golf and proposing a Digital Geneva Convention — Weekend Reading: Feb. 17 edition

In this latest edition of Weekend Reading we have a lot to report, including news on the RSA Conference, an open source set of tools to help researchers and developers train and test drones and other gadgets, and how technology is transforming golf. This year’s RSA Conference in San Francisco brought the world’s security professionals together to discuss cybersecurity at a critical time, writes Microsoft President Brad Smith. Just as … Read more »

Virtual Valentine’s Day cards, trustworthy AI and French electro-pop – Weekend Reading: Feb. 10 edition

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and if ostentatious displays of affection aren’t your thing – or even if they are – new Skype Mojis and emoticons will help you spread a little love to friends and family. You can even a record a special Valentine’s message with floating hearts to share with your loved ones over social networks. Valentine’s Day also means candy, and that’s something for which the century-old, … Read more »

Advancing artificial intelligence, transforming retail and creating a musical VR experience from the desert: Weekend Reading — Jan. 20

artificial intelligence illustration

The new year is in full swing, and so was Microsoft this week, with transformative work in artificial intelligence, retail, music, virtual reality and social good. Microsoft advanced its artificial intelligence efforts with plans to acquire Montreal-based Maluuba, one of the world’s most impressive, deep-learning research labs for natural language understanding. Microsoft announced it will double the size of the lab in the next two years and give $6 million … Read more »

Artificial intelligence takes on machine reading, Christmas carols and eye disease – Weekend Reading: Dec. 30 edition

Artificial intelligence (AI) made incredible strides in 2016, and the growth appears set to accelerate as we enter the New Year. A team of Microsoft researchers has released a dataset of 100,000 questions and answers that other AI researchers can use – for free – in their quest to create systems that can read and answer questions as well as a human. The MS MARCO dataset is based on anonymized … Read more »

Advancing AI on several fronts, building the next world graph with mapping companies and making the perfect match for your new 4K TV — Weekend Reading: Dec. 16 edition

Microsoft employee Nitish Kumar guides a kayak across the water toward a sunset

We’re getting closer to the end of the year, but the news has yet to slow down at Microsoft. In this edition of Weekend Reading, we share big developments in artificial intelligence, a new ecosystem of intelligent location-based services and how compatible Xbox One S is with 4K TV. On Tuesday, Microsoft introduced Zo, the next evolution in chatbots; shared how Cortana, in partnership with Harman Kardon, will be present … Read more »

Microsoft Ventures: Making the long bet on AI + people

Today, I’m excited to share another significant commitment by Microsoft to democratize AI: a new Microsoft Ventures fund for investment in AI companies focused on inclusive growth and positive impact on society. I also have an update about the growth of our overall portfolio of companies. AI holds great promise to augment human capabilities and improve society by tackling some of the world’s biggest problems. Our recently announced partnership with … Read more »

Advancing our ambition to democratize artificial intelligence

Photo of Harry Shum and Sam Altman standing side-by-side, arms folded and grinning. Photo by Brian Smale.

We are at an incredible moment in technology history. Thanks to cloud computing power, more advanced algorithms and the availability of massive amounts of data, the artificial intelligence (AI) field has exploded – allowing computer scientists to create technology many of us only dreamed about just a few years ago. Using deep learning, computers today can recognize the words in a conversation about as well as a person does and … Read more »

The next milestone in Microsoft’s AI journey

This week at Microsoft Ignite, we showed how we are infusing artificial intelligence (AI) broadly across Microsoft to help our customers. Our approach to this fundamental shift is to democratize AI and to make it accessible and valuable to everyone. We’re focused on building an AI stack spanning infrastructure, services, apps and agents and reaching key customer audiences — consumers, enterprises, developers. We are creating tools to make it easier … Read more »

Microsoft acquisition of Genee to accelerate intelligent experiences in Office 365

I am pleased to announce that Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire Genee, an artificial-intelligence-powered scheduling service. Co-founders Ben Cheung and Charles Lee, who plan to join Microsoft, started Genee in 2014 to simplify the time-consuming task of scheduling (and rescheduling) meetings. It’s especially useful for large groups and for when you don’t have access to someone’s calendar. Genee uses natural language processing and optimized decision-making algorithms so that … Read more »