Scientists and engineers in the new Microsoft Research AI organization will work closely with other researchers across the company to “pursue game-changing advances in artificial intelligence.” A key focus, says the company, will be to “probe the foundational principles of intelligence.”
According to Microsoft, they hope to use this knowledge to develop a more general, flexible AI. Not unlike Google’s recently announced People + AI Research initiative, the computer software and technology maker’s new AI unit hopes to find new ways of using machine intelligence that will “empower people and organizations.”
A core goal of Microsoft Research AI, says Harry Chum, Executive Vice President of Microsoft AI and Research Group, “is to reunite AI research endeavors such as machine learning, perception, and natural language processing that have evolved over time into separate fields of research.” Doing this, he says, will allow the creation of tools – such as those that can understand text and language and then take action based on that understanding – that better help people perform complex, multifaceted tasks.
Based at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, the new lab will be staffed with more than 100 scientists specializing in various areas of artificial intelligence research, such as perception, learning, reasoning, and natural language processing. In addition, Microsoft says it also plans to hire computer scientists and experts in other fields such as cognitive psychology to join the new organization.
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