Yes, Microsoft has an artificial intelligence research lab, and the BBC gives us a rare look inside. AI refers to machines or computer systems that behave in a way simulating human intelligence, and a Microsoft project that makes use of this technology is “Seeing AI”, an app designed to help people with a visual impairment get information about their world through the camera of a smartphone. “Science fiction has made an indelible impression on what people understand artificial intelligence (AI) to be. There is much anxiety that AI will take jobs, and fear that intelligent robots may harm us and one day take over the world. This causes us at Microsoft great concern because if AI is to truly benefit society, we must gain the trust of the people whose lives it will transform,” said Chris Bishop, Lab Director of Microsoft Research Cambridge and Microsoft Technical Fellow. Read more for the video tour.
Computers use machine learning to enable them to learn without being explicitly programmed, and advances in this field, particularly in deep learning, have led to a recent explosion in AI. Machine Learning uses algorithms to spot patterns in data and then behave in a predictive way. Whether it be speech recognition, natural language recognition, computer vision, search recommendations or email filtering, they all make use of machine learning.
“Microsoft takes a partnership approach to developing AI, placing human values at the centre. We believe in responsible design and that the companies developing these technologies should take ownership of the ethical considerations and work together to solve the toughest challenges. AI should not be the provenance of any one company or nation. It should belong to everyone,” adds Chris Bishop.