This announcement comes only a day after Microsoft joined forces with some of the world’s largest technology companies Amazon, IBM, Google and Facebook to form a Partnership on AI.
The new Microsoft AI and Research Group will be governed by Harry Shum, Microsoft Research EVP and will combine the effort of more than 5000 employees worldwide in accelerating the delivery of new capabilities to customers across agents, applications, services and infrastructure.
“We live in a time when digital technology is transforming our lives, businesses and the world, but also generating an exponential growth in data and information,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “At Microsoft, we are focused on empowering both people and organizations, by democratizing access to intelligence to help solve our most pressing challenges. To do this, we are infusing AI into everything we deliver across our computing platforms and experiences.”
“My job has been to take Microsoft Research, an amazing asset for the company, and make it even more of a value-creation engine for Microsoft and our industry,” Shum said. “Today’s move to bring research and engineering even closer will accelerate our ability to deliver more personal and intelligent computing experiences to people and organizations worldwide.”
Here is how Microsoft’s is shaping its vision to democratize AI:
Agents. Harness AI to fundamentally change human and computer interaction through agents such as Microsoft’s digital personal assistant Cortana
Applications. Infuse every application, from the photo app on people’s phones to Skype and Office 365, with intelligence
Services. Make these same intelligent capabilities that are infused in Microsoft’s apps —cognitive capabilities such as vision and speech, and machine analytics — available to every application developer in the world
Infrastructure. Build the world’s most powerful AI supercomputer with Azure and make it available to anyone, to enable people and organizations to harness its power