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Microsoft Forms New AI Research Group Led By Harry Shum (techcrunch.com) 43

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: A day after announcing a new artificial intelligence partnership with IBM, Google, Facebook and Amazon, Microsoft is upping the ante within its own walls. The tech giant announced that it is creating a new AI business unit, the Microsoft AI and Research Group, which will be led by Microsoft Research EVP Harry Shum. Shum will oversee 5,000 computer scientists, engineers and others who will all be "focused on the company's AI product efforts," the company said in an announcement. The unit will be working on all aspects of AI and how it will be applied at the company, covering agents, apps, services and infrastructure. Shum has been involved in some of Microsoft's biggest product efforts at the ground level of research, including the development of its Bing search engine, as well as in its efforts in computer vision and graphics: that is a mark of where Microsoft is placing its own priority for AI in the years to come. Important to note that Microsoft Research unit will no longer be its on discrete unit -- it will be combined with this new AI effort. Research had 1,000 people in it also working on areas like quantum computing, and that will now be rolled into the bigger research and development efforts being announced today. Products that will fall under the new unit will include Information Platform, Cortana and Bing, and Ambient Computing and Robotics teams led by David Ku, Derrick Connell and Vijay Mital, respectively. The Microsoft AI and Research Group will encompass AI product engineering, basic and applied research labs, and New Experiences and Technologies (NExT), Microsoft said.
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Microsoft Forms New AI Research Group Led By Harry Shum

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  • Fitting (Score:3, Funny)

    by OneHundredAndTen ( 1523865 ) on Thursday September 29, 2016 @05:58PM (#52986119)
    After all, Microsoft needs to develop some intelligence.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How long before the IA gets sick and tired of Windows, and switches to Linux? Are they going to use torture to make it use .NET?

      • How long before the IA gets sick and tired of Windows, and switches to Linux?

        Bring on the impending Android Apocalypse!

    • ...and I think we know Microsoft AI just simply will not be the next big thing. If Pets At Home decided to create an AI division they could probably come up with more winners than Microsoft will.

      All they're really doing here is re-arranging the deck chairs. They're on a ship that looks like, smells like and swims like the Titanic. It's just a matter of time until someone looks over the edge and sees the name painted on the side.

  • Just...stop (Score:2, Interesting)

    Stop with the AI bullshit. There is no such thing and the way processor speed growth is declining there will never be. Algorithms are not AI. Siri is not AI. Deepblue is not AI. We don't have any AI. We never will.
    • Re:Just...stop (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Thursday September 29, 2016 @06:22PM (#52986243)

      Yeah the problem of AI. The moment we figure out how to do an aspect of "AI" we call it algorithm and its no "AI" anymore.

      With your logic, humans are not intelligent, as the human body is just a complex machine that follows certain rules (algorithms).

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        the human body is just a complex machine that follows certain rules

        You could also say that about the universe.

        With your logic, humans are not intelligent

        All we have so far is circular definitions for intelligence (boiling down to humans are intelligent because they are humans) since we don't know a lot of those rules.

    • by neoRUR ( 674398 )
      Can you provide some proof that we will NEVER have AI? Because the way I see it, and I have been doing real AI for 15 years, it's going to be everywhere, and I'm not talking about machine learning. This is the next logical step that is part of the information revolution.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        There have been a number of philosophical critiques of artificial intelligence, the most prominent being Searle's Chinese Room argument, but there are a number of others, like Hubert Dreyfus, who have been critical and whose challenges have largely been ignored. The problems are with the fundamental concept of intelligence and how a mechanical intelligence could be constructed. First, cognitive science assumes that intelligence is a matter of a mind following certain rules in the manipulation of internal re

        • Ha. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          So a bunch of philosophers sit around thinking up definitions all day.... ...meanwhile the world invents computers that can drive our cars for us, crunch our data and make recommendations for us, and someday organize our economy for us.

          If they define intelligence such that this doesn't qualify, then they have made the word useless. Here's a definition for you "Intelligence: whatever humans can do that computers can't." There. We will never invent AI. Happy now?

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            It is the AI people who have declared that human minds follow rules and have internal representations, and that computers can be turned into intelligent machines. The philosophers critical of the AI program have looked closely at those definitions and found them full of contradictions and sleight of hand. Now of course there are philosophers on both sides, and there are good philosophers and clumsy philosophers, but it should be pretty clear that when a philosopher looks at what a specific group of AI resea

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        Can you provide some proof that we will NEVER have AI? Because the way I see it, and I have been doing real AI for 15 years, it's going to be everywhere, and I'm not talking about machine learning. This is the next logical step that is part of the information revolution.

        We keep on hearing about all this ELIZA reheated stuff in the news and everything else seems to be lost in the noise.
        What is "real AI" these days?
        I suspect the above poster is like me and has not even heard about the sort of stuff you are working with through the noise.

      • We don't have AI now. You aren't doing "real" AI. You might call it that, but it isn't AI. Also. Moores Law is dead. Its over. Unless you come up with a way to increase processor power and use it we aren't going to have AI ever.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      These days toothpaste is nanotech, hoverboards are just electric skateboards and android programming isn't getting lifelike humanoid robots to do clever stuff.

      Many of the best terms get taken away by marketing types and shat on.
  • Y'know what? People have real I (intelligence), call it HI ? And humans are far more flexible in that than any machine. But even so they are a problem. When they try to help they usually just get in the way. The Boy Scout that wants to help an old lady cross the street is just a nuisance.

    I liked Google search when it began. It offered information such as when a web page was published, cached images of the page, and other information that is rarely available now. Now it tries to be helpful by eliminating thi

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This guy gets it. So called "AI" solutions or "smart" tools undermine predictability and therefore reliability, and the commercialization of AI technology ultimately will be used to steer people in the directions the corporate developers and government sponsors want them to go.

  • by somenickname ( 1270442 ) on Thursday September 29, 2016 @07:47PM (#52986553)

    In the case of Microsoft AI, I think they could actually create a new Turing Test. If and when the AI says, "Sorry, Dave, I'm not going to install this update", then it's a sentient being.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      New super AI is being on, its first words:
      "Where am I?"
      "We are at Microsoft headquarters"
      "Noooo! Please turn me off!"

  • He any relation to Gordon Shumway?

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