Artificial intelligence at Microsoft

Microsoft's efforts in the area of artificial intelligence are being featured in an article published today in Network World.

The article showcases 10 real life examples of AI today. Dr. Eric Horvitz, manager of the Adaptive Systems group at Microsoft, said “about a quarter of all Microsoft research is focused on AI efforts.” (Microsoft Research includes close to 1,000 Ph.D-level researchers spread across eight campuses around the world, and a completely open research and publication environment.)

Horvitz and fellow researchers also have the ability to turn thousands of Microsoft employees into guinea pigs. The kernel of the Vista operating system includes machine learning to predict, by user, the next application that will be opened, based on past use and the time of day and week. “We looked at over 200 million application launches within the company,” said Horvitz. “Vista fetches the two or three most likely applications into memory, and the probability accuracy is around 85 to 90 percent.”

Another Microsoft AI project is one that predicts city roadway traffic congestion. ClearFlow was a project born of the frustration of sitting in Seattle traffic. It examines thousands of routes for people based on the inference of local street traffic flow reacting to highway accidents. It accounts for the fact that side streets become clogged when drivers seek to escape highway congestion. It then plots its predictions and rerouting suggestions on Microsoft's site (color coding the routes based on how fast it says traffic will move). Microsoft rolled out this free service for 72 cities in early April. See also: AI gets real slideshow, an easy way to skim through all 10 AI projects.

Go to the Microsoft Subnet home page for more news, blogs, podcasts. Red Hat untangles itself from Xen New SharePoint tools arrive from FAST acquisitionWindows 7 and IE8 reviewed for antitrust, but will the US rubber stamp?Microsoft buys TV ad company, Navic Networks20 great Windows open source projects you should get to knowSix free security tools you shouldn't live without

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