How Microsoft Research AI Hopes to Take on Google

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is pushing further into the artificial intelligence market, announcing a new lab dubbed Microsoft Research AI, which is aimed at developing more general-purpose learning systems. The lab, which will be located at its Redmond, Wash., headquarters will house more than 100 scientists from all areas of AI: learning, natural language, perception and reasoning. The idea behind the lab is multifaceted, with one goal being the creation of AI-enabled systems that can handle a variety of problems or tasks rather than a single product or device to tackle a particular problem, like getting around in traffic. Microsoft said the integrated approach lets it develop tools that can do complex, multifaceted tasks. “Every day, computers are getting better at doing individual tasks like recognizing faces in photos or words in a conversation, using functionality such as pattern recognition and classification,” said Harry Shum, executive vice president of Microsoft AI and Research Group, in a blog post. “We believe AI will be even more helpful when we can create tools that combine those functions and add some of the abilities that come naturally to people.” (See also: Microsoft’s Nadella Pushes ‘One Microsoft’ Concept.) Ethics and Intelligence Shum said the army…


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