Microsoft is forming a grand army of experts in the artificial intelligence wars with Google …

Microsoft Technical Fellow and Managing Director of the Redmond Lab Eric HorvitzMicrosoft Artificial intelligence is fast becoming the next major battlefield between Silicon Valley’s biggest companies, and Microsoft is putting its troops in formation. On Wednesday morning, Microsoft plans to announce the creation of Microsoft Research AI, a dedicated unit within its global Microsoft Research division that will focus exclusively on how to make the company’s software smarter, now and in the future.  Make no mistake, Microsoft has long employed a veritable army of AI experts, who have contributed their expertise to products and services including Microsoft Translator, the Microsoft Cortana digital assistant, and even the infamous rogue Tay chatbot.  The difference now, Microsoft Research Labs director Eric Horvitz tells Business Insider, is that this new organization will bring roughly 100 of those experts under one figurative roof. By bringing them together, Horvitz says, Microsoft’s AI team can do more, faster, he says. Horvitz describes the formation of Microsoft Research AI as a “key strategic effort;’ a move that is “absolutely critical” as artificial intelligence becomes increasingly important to the future of technology. All in all, Microsoft Research AI will encompass about 1/10th of the staff of the overall Microsoft Research group. Plus, Microsoft…


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