Microsoft at its Ignite conference for IT professionals this week demonstrated some of the many ways it is building artificial intelligence into its products and services.
As Microsoft AI and Research Group Executive Vice President Harry Shum points out, they’re focused on building an AI stack that spans infrastructure, services, apps and agents in an effort to “democratize” AI, thus making it accessible – and valuable – to everyone.
Shum points out that AI is shifting the computer science research supply chain and blurring the lines between research and product. As someone that has worked on both research and product teams, Shum said he realizes that end-to-end innovation in AI will not come from isolated research labs alone but rather from the combination of at-scale production workloads.
Indeed, one only needs to look back to this past March and the failure that was Microsoft’s “Tay” chat bot as evidence that a single division approach isn’t always best when working with cutting-edge technology like AI.
To help accelerate this movement, Microsoft is forming a new group that’ll bring several divisions under one roof. Included in the new sector are Microsoft Research and the company’s Information Platform Group as well the Bing and Cortana product groups plus the Ambient Computing and Robotics teams. The combined group will be comprised of more than 5,000 engineers and computer scientists, Shum said.