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 »

Microsoft and partners combine the cloud, AI, research and industry expertise to focus on transforming health care

Two doctors look over brain scans in a clinical setting

Microsoft announces new health-focused initiatives and solutions, and emerging strategic research partnership with UPMC The goal is noble: Empower people to lead healthier lives. And yet, few industries in the world face more complex problems than health care. Disparate and disconnected information systems, the uncertainties within regulatory environments around the world and the inevitable disruptions in core business models all pose perplexing and interlocking challenges. As we look at some … Read more »

Celebrating Computer Science Education Week, sharing predictions and empowering professionals — Weekend Reading: Dec. 9 edition

Black-and-white portraits of 17 female Microsoft researchers

It was an exciting week at Microsoft, with STEM education support, LinkedIn news, WinHEC in China and predictions for the new year. Let’s catch up. To celebrate Computer Science Education Week and counteract the dearth of women in computing fields, 17 female researchers at Microsoft shared their predictions for 2017 and 2027. They included Kalika Bali in India, who says speech and language technology applications will become more multilingual next … Read more »

Using web search data to detect lung cancer and swinging through the universe with Kinect – Weekend Reading: Nov. 11 edition

While the U.S. election dominated global headlines, there has been lots of other news you may have missed, including Microsoft researchers who detected lung cancer risks through web search logs, and an art exhibit where you can explore the universe from the seat of a swing. So take a moment to look at the world around you – and beyond – this weekend. Although smoking cigarettes is the leading cause … Read more »

Newly updated Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit can help speed advances in deep learning

Photo of Frank Seide standing at the top of a stairway at Microsoft

Microsoft has released an updated version of Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit, a system for deep learning that is used to speed advances in areas such as speech and image recognition and search relevance on CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs. The toolkit, previously known as CNTK, was initially developed by computer scientists at Microsoft who wanted a tool to do their own research more quickly and effectively. It quickly moved beyond speech and … Read more »

Historic milestone: Microsoft researchers achieve human parity in conversational speech recognition

Microsoft has made a major breakthrough in speech recognition, creating a technology that understands a conversation as well as a person does. In a paper published Monday, a team of researchers and engineers in Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research reported a speech recognition system that makes the same or fewer errors than professional transcriptionists.  The researchers reported a word  error rate (WER) of 5.9 percent, down from the 6.3 percent WER … Read more »

Microsoft researchers explore using computer science to help ‘solve’ cancer

Sketch of a man's face with a microscope in front of it

At Microsoft’s research labs around the world, computer scientists, programmers, engineers and other experts are trying to crack some of the computer industry’s toughest problems, from system design and security to quantum computing and data visualization. A subset of those scientists, engineers and programmers have a different goal: They’re trying to use computer science to solve one of the most complex and deadly challenges humans face: cancer. “We’re in a … Read more »

Microsoft HoloLens speeds service for thyssenkrupp Elevator, researchers achieve speech recognition milestone and Old Glory Relay kicks off — Weekend Reading: Sept.16 edition

Man wearing HoloLens looks at hologram of elevator system in front of an open elevator shaft

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we have stories on how Microsoft HoloLens is helping thyssenkrupp Elevator service technicians make quicker fixes, how researchers achieved a major milestone in speech recognition and the beginning of the more than 4,200-mile Old Glory Relay, sponsored by Microsoft. Stairs are great for a workout and a necessity during emergencies. But when you need to get up several floors fast, nothing beats an elevator. … Read more »

A hackathon winner crowned, an entrepreneur’s heartfelt motivation and some inspiring careers — Weekend Reading: Aug. 12 edition

Five members of the InstaFact team pose on bright green chairs.

An innovative idea that takes the tedium out of organizing facts, an entrepreneur who risked bankruptcy to help save the woman he loves, and a man’s difficult journey to a career at Microsoft — it’s been a week of inspiring news around Microsoft. We’ve rounded up the highlights for this latest edition of Weekend Reading. On Tuesday, a team of Microsoft employees was crowned grand prize winner of this year’s … Read more »

Fighting mosquito-borne diseases, celebrating student developers — Weekend Reading: June 24 edition

It was another full week at Microsoft, which was busy trapping mosquitoes, celebrating Imagine Cup World finalists and helping small farmers in Mexico turn animal waste into clean energy. Let’s take a look. To help prevent mosquito-borne illnesses such as Zika, health officials in Houston’s Harris County are wielding a new mosquito trap that’s part of Microsoft’s broader Project Premonition research project. The innovative prototype was built to automatically do … Read more »