Conversations on AI

As written on
Microsoft has been investing in the promise of artificial intelligence for more than 25 years — and this vision is coming to life with new chatbot Zo, Cortana Devices SDK and Skills Kit, and expansion of intelligence tools.
“Across several industry benchmarks, our computer vision algorithms have surpassed others in the industry — even humans,” said Harry Shum, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Research group, at a small gathering on AI in San Francisco on Dec. 13.
“But what’s more exciting to me is that our vision progress is showing up in our products like HoloLens and with customers like Uber building apps to use these capabilities.”
When Bill Gates created Microsoft Research in 1991, he had a vision that computers would one day see, hear and understand human beings — and this notion attracted some of the best and brightest minds to the company’s labs.
Last month, Microsoft became the first in the industry to reach parity with humans in speech recognition. There’s also been groundbreaking work with Skype Translator — now available in 9 languages — an example of accelerating the pipeline from research to product. With Skype Translator Microsoft has enabled people to understand each other, in real time, while talking to others in all corners of the world. But what about the dream of face-to-face, real-time translation?
Using this new intelligent language and speech recognition capability, Microsoft Translator can now simultaneously translate between groups speaking multiple languages in-person, in real-time, connecting people and overcoming barriers.

AACD-779x519 managed solution In Brazil, Nadella met Lívia and Cecília, two young girls with cerebral palsy who bowl on Xbox as part of an innovative Kinect-enabled therapy at an institute managed by AACD, a nonprofit that helps children with disabilities.

How technology is transforming and empowering Latin America one person and organization at a time

By Vanessa Ho, Microsoft News Center Staff, as written on
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella visited Latin America last week to learn and see first-hand how technology is transforming thousands of lives in the region, with new job skills, entrepreneurial opportunities, innovative services and stronger, digitally inclusive societies.
Nadella met with developers, students, startups and community and business leaders in Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, where he reinforced Microsoft’s commitment to foster innovation, create opportunities and help businesses grow in Latin America.
“Innovation … will come from every corner of the planet, [including] Latin America,” Nadella said during his stop in Chile.
A presence in Latin America for nearly 30 years, Microsoft has helped create more than one million jobs in the region, supported more than 5,000 new startups and donated more than $441 million in software and cash to nonprofits. More than 100,000 companies use the Microsoft cloud, and the use of Office 365, Microsoft Azure and Dynamics CRM Online tools has helped create triple-digit growth—a sign of a thriving digital transformation in the region.
As part of its commitment to young people, Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative has benefitted 49 million Latin American youths and its Imagine Cup contest has inspired students globally, including in Brazil with two winning teams.
During his visit, Nadella emphasized how technology, including the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, can empower businesses, startups and organizations in Latin America to transform. For example, Azure supports an online taxpayer service in Mexico, the first service of its kind in the country. It helps issue electronic invoices, provides direct customer support to taxpayers who need to check, cancel or download electronic invoices, and provides reception services to more than 85 authorized certification providers. In Brazil, Azure and Office 365 will play key roles in the Rio 2016 Games, with rich platforms and immersive fan experiences. Microsoft Translator is also helping to preserve Yucatec Maya and Querétaro Otomi, threatened indigenous languages in the region.
“I want us as a company to stand for our customers’ success,” Nadella said. “Because if I think about the identity of Microsoft, it is centered around providing digital technology to others who are going to do magical things.”
For a closer look at some of the people Nadella met during his visit and how Microsoft is helping their countries view the photo slideshow.

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