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FiRe2014: Artificial Intelligence Helping Humans: Future Research



An interview with Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President and Head of Microsoft Research, hosted by Ed Butler, Presenter, BBC.



Skype Translator: Breaking down language barriers
Skype Translator: Breaking down language barriers
00:01:59

Peter Lee, Microsoft Research VP, shares insights and a sneak peek into the Skype Translator, derived from decades of research in speech recognition, automatic translation, and machine learning technologies. The Skype Translator is now being developed jointly by Skype and Microsoft Research teams, and combines voice and IM technologies with Microsoft Translator, and neural network-based speech recognition to deliver near real-time cross-lingual communication. With the Skype Translator, we're one step closer to universal communications across language barriers, allowing people to connect in ways never before possible. In Lee's words 'It's truly magical.'

Skype Translator demonstration from Code Conference 2014



MonoFusion: Scanning objects in real time with a single web camera
MonoFusion: Scanning objects in real time with a single web camera
00:02:09

This project offers a method for creating 3-D scans of arbitrary environments in real time, utilizing only a single RGB camera as the input sensor. The camera could be one already available in a tablet or a phone, or it could be a cheap web camera. No additional input hardware is required. This removes the need for power-intensive active sensors that do not work robustly in natural outdoor lighting. In seconds, a user can generate a compelling 3-D model, which can be used in augmented reality, for 3-D printing, or in computer-aided design.

Motion-sensing keyboard detects hand gestures
Motion-sensing keyboard detects hand gestures
00:04:30

Project Type-Hover-Swipe incorporates motion sensing into a keyboard, which detects subtle hand gestures that allow you to manipulate content on the screen. Pinch your fingers together to zoom into a map, swipe your hand across the keyboard to turn a page, steer a race car in a game using a virtual steering wheel, and more. Watch the video demonstration to see what all is possible with this cool technology.

RetroDepth: Visual-based 3-D sensing and interaction
RetroDepth: Visual-based 3-D sensing and interaction
00:04:47

Watch a demonstration of RetroDepth, a vision-based system that accurately senses the 3-D silhouettes of hands and other objects as they interact on and above physical surfaces.

International Women’s Hackathon 2014
International Women’s Hackathon 2014
00:04:36

The International Women’s Hackathon is designed to empower, encourage, support, and retain more women in computer science at the university level. The 2014 event features a pair of challenges: UN Women, a United Nations organizations dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, will drive an exercise designed to increase women’s involvement in STEM fields -- science, technology, engineering, and math. Meanwhile, Teens Against Distracted Driving will host a project to encourage people to stop texting while driving.

Printing Interactivity: Customizable 3-D Printing
Printing Interactivity: Customizable 3-D Printing
00:04:38

Presenting two new technologies that empower consumers to design and produce working physical devices customized to their particular needs:

  • A highly interactive, touch-first 3-D printing app makes 3-D modeling accessible to a broad range of consumers. It uses the 3-D printer support in Windows 8.1 and adds an intuitive, block-based editor.
  • A technique enabling users to create working interactive devices cheaply and easily, based on recent advances in conductive inks coupled with a new type of modular electronic components.

When combined, these two technologies give a glimpse of a future world where it is inexpensive and easy for users to build devices with customized form and function.

Elevating human-computer interaction to a new level of sophistication
Elevating human-computer interaction to a new level of sophistication
00:04:52

The Situated Interaction project, a research effort co-led by Eric Horvitz, a Microsoft distinguished scientist and managing director of Microsoft Research Redmond, and his colleague Dan Bohus, focuses on enabling many forms of complex, layered interaction between machines and humans.

Shape-Writing Enhancements for Windows Phone
Shape-Writing Enhancements for Windows Phone
00:01:12

On January 16, 2014, Microsoft researchers and Windows Phone engineers set out to challenge the Guinness World Records fastest text message using a touch-screen mobile phone record.

Typing on a touchscreen device without having to look at the screen could be extremely useful in cases when it’s either dangerous, interruptive or impolite to text. Microsoft researchers developed a novel UX and robust decoder to shape write in groups of characters. To demonstrate the feasibility of this approach, the research team broke the Guinness World record for touchscreen and blind texting, and worked with the Windows Phone team to include the WordFlow feature in Windows Phone 8.1.

Hekaton research makes significant speed improvements to SQL Server 2014
Hekaton research makes significant speed improvements to SQL Server 2014
00:19:41

Paul Larson, Microsoft principal researcher, and Mike Zwilling, principal architect, Microsoft SQL Server, discuss how their collaboration led to the data-access improvements of the Hekaton component of SQL Server 2014, which has implications that improves online gaming, real-time inventory analysis, stock trading, and any scenario where data access and indexing speed is critical to a system's performance.