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Microsoft forms AI group to bring 5,000 experts under one roof

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Microsoft AI group

To expand its ongoing efforts for the artificial intelligence (AI) world, Microsoft has formed a new group called the Microsoft AI and Research Group. This new initiative will provide a room to over 5,000 computer scientists, engineers and other masters.

Led by Microsoft veteran Harry Shum, the AI group will include resources from Information Platform, Cortana and Bing, and Ambient Computing and Robotics teams. The software giant is primarily set to “encompass” its AI product engineering, basic and applied research labs and New Experiences and Technologies (NExT).

“Today’s move signifies Microsoft’s commitment to deploying intelligent technology and democratizing AI in a way that changes our lives and the world around us for the better,” said Shum, in a statement.

Microsoft is opting a “four-pronged approach” to enable new AI developments. The strategy includes agents such as Cortana personal assistant; application integrations like Skype, Office 365 and the basic phone app; existing apps with cognitive capabilities including vision and speech and top-end infrastructure to develop robust AI supercomputer with Azure.

“At Microsoft, we are focused on empowering both people and organisations, by democratising access to intelligence to help solve our most pressing challenges,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “To do this, we are infusing AI into everything we deliver across our computing platforms and experiences.”

Microsoft Research merges

Alongside adding multiple sources, Microsoft has merged its Research unit with the AI group. Shum was leading Microsoft Research with a total headcount of 1,000 people.

“Today’s move to bring research and engineering even closer will accelerate our ability to deliver more personal and intelligent computing experiences to people and organisations worldwide,” Shum stated.

The Research team at the Redmond company brought several interesting technologies to products like Office, Xbox, HoloLens and Windows. These developments would get some facelifts in the coming future. Moreover, Microsoft has already started hiring for various positions at its AI and Research Group to kick-start operations under the newly formed unified unit.