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Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence Journey

Jun 10, 2017 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Like all other tech giants, Microsoft is shifting its focus to artificial intelligence. Windows 10 built-in voice assistant, Cortana, is an important symbol of Microsoft’s interest in this field but Microsoft’s interest in this area developed long before the development of Windows 10. 25 years ago with the establishment of Microsoft Research Institute, artificial intelligence had become the strategic goal of Microsoft.

Microsoft and Artificial IntelligenceMicrosoft and artificial intellignce

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Forty years ago, Microsoft’s operating system made personal computers popular. Twenty years ago, Microsoft had the challenge of surviving in the Internet age. Today, from browser to the cloud computing Microsoft is the backbone of the industry. Ten years ago Microsoft’s mobile operating system faced setbacks. Right now artificial intelligence is the hot topic of interest. There is a chance for tech giants to prove their mantle and make history. Microsoft is the world’s largest software company, Would it be able to seize this opportunity? In the 2016 Developer Conference, Microsoft made an important announcement. Microsoft believes that dialogue-based human-computer interaction will replace the keyboard and mouse and display, as the future of the important interface in the information world. Microsoft is shifting its focus to the dialogue platform now. Microsoft senior vice president, Asia-Pacific R & D group chairman, director of the Asian Academy, Hong Xiaowen said that they think that artificial intelligence is a very important piece and that any component of a machine, whether software or hardware, has a very important thing called human-computer interaction. He thinks that the most natural human-computer interaction should be the same as the most natural form of communication, i.e. dialogue. Microsoft’s “dialogue” is not just the voice, but the text, images, video, the whole sensory collection, Microsoft’s emotional computing framework and the introduction of the artificial intelligence universal dialogue system. Dialogue artificial intelligence has two major demands: First, complete the task or improve efficiency, the second is emotional communication. Microsoft’s dialogue-type artificial intelligence is in accordance with these two directions for the layout, the task side has a smart assistant Cortana, and the emotional side has XiaoIce. Today, Cortana is deeply integrated with Windows 10. She is a cross-platform, efficient personal intelligence assistant. XiaoIce was launched in May 2014. After the launch, she has now evolved to the fourth generation, from the microblogging robot “opinion leader” to unlocking the image recognition system, from entering Japan, the United States, India, to becoming the Oriental TV robot “anchor “. Little Ice already has more than 42 million Chinese users. Who knows what the future would be like for Cortana and XiaoIce after the initial excitement wears off? Will they improve? Will they be the most commonly used virtual assistants?

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Dr. Hong Xiaowen does not think so. He says even the most trivial of tasks is difficult for AI to achieve. Chat is a simple thing, but AI should be able to help you complete tasks. With the use of dialogue AAP, the machine with the AI and the data, you will be able to do so. Artificial Intelligence will still depend on human service. Artificial Intelligence can do a lot of useful things. The machine can complete 50% of the task independently, at least 50% can save the capacity of the other 50%. Over time, with the accumulation of data into the data feed, or with data training, the machine’s services can increase from 50% to 60%, and then slowly increase even more. This is how XiaoIce works. With voice commands, it is very easy to use it. Microsoft is working with its partners to go in this direction. Indeed, Microsoft is not the only one to think about Artificial Intelligence. The technology giant, Amazon launched the voice robot Echo, which has occupied more than 300 million family ports. Google’s voice assistant also uses a new dialogue artificial intelligence assistant. Throughout the history of information technology revolution and the rise of personal computers, the graphical user interface has slowly become an interactive interface. Microsoft became the promoter of that era. When the Internet started gaining popularity, people began to connect with the world through search engines and browsers, and Google became the representative of this era. And in the next era of artificial intelligence, Microsoft hopes to use the “dialogue platform” concept, once again to lead the way humans and computers interact.

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It is hard to imagine what the pace of development would have been like without Windows operating system. Microsoft made it easier for anyone to own a computer. This vision took almost 3 decades to achieve. In the graphics operating system, Windows is the leader. In the mobile era, cloud led the way. Microsoft released Windows 8, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone during this time. It was a phase of trial and error. It finally found a “light weight” coping strategy.microsoft hololens

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However, in the era of artificial intelligence, a variety of forms of terminal equipment will be needed.In Dr. Hong Xiaowen’s  view, the concept of Windows is a personal calculation. PC is the name of a very good, personal computer. It can be desktop or a notebook. In fact, phones are also like personal computers now. The future belongs to  VR and AR. Microsoft has now introduced AR to enhance the reality. Microsoft has also announced MR Mixed reality HoloLens. It has also announced that this year it will soon launch the VR Holographic. aMicrosoft wants to bring Windows to more personal computer devices. At the end of April 2015, at the developer’s conference, Microsoft demonstrated the Hololens. You will feel like you are wearing a monitor when you use this smart glass products. Images will appear to be in front of you, whether it is a holographic images or 3D modeling. HoloLens is just like a PC with Windows. Dr. Hong Xiaowen said in an interview that HoloLens is actually a Windows, which itself is a Windows PC, but when you put it on, Windows will become a platform for intelligent hardware. From the PC to the phone, from Hololens wearing equipment to the car, the future of computing terminal equipment will have Windows. Windows will evolve into a smart hardware platform system.

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Two years ago, you could a upload photo to identify the gender and age of the person in the picture using Microsoft’s ‘how old do I look’. It was really popular on the iternet, with people recommedning it to their friends. In a few hours, 210,000 pictures were uploaded world wide. This program was just a few lines of codes. These lines are behind the code that Microsoft is relying on for cognitive computing services. Cognitive computing power has become a common basic technology module, developers only need to use the program interface call, to quickly and easily add intelligence to applications. The current set of cognitive services, including visual, language, voice, search and knowledge of the five major categories of a total of 29 API, and still continue to be updated.

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The future seems to be dominated by augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and  artificial intelligence (AI). Let’s see which tech giants makes a mark. Who are you betting on? Share with us in the comments below!

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