New video series starring Microsoft Research head launches

Microsoft Research has been in the news a bit more than normal lately, thanks to items such as a demonstration of a new voice translation technology. Today, the company started a new online video series that promises to give a glimpse at what is happening in Microsoft Research.

The Next at Microsoft blog will be the home for the series called TechForum Insights, which will feature Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie speaking on various topics. The first video, shown above, has Mundie giving his thoughts on "big data".

Mundie says in the past, the ability to store vast amounts of data would be too hard or too expensive for the computers of the time, and as a result some of that data was discarded. Mundie says that companies like Microsoft can now build computers that are large enough to handle the amounts of data that are generated by certain applications.

It's not enough to simply store the data, however. Mundie says that Microsoft and others have to also be able to mine the data in order to put it to use. This is where machine learning comes in. Mundie says that machine learning applications can "find patterns that humans are just not able to do" within all of the data that is collected.

One of the ways machine learning has been put to use is with Microsoft's Bing search service. Mundie states that that led to developing a way for Bing to let people decide which of their online friends would be best able to answer a particular question. Ultimately, Mundie says that machine learning, combined with big data, will serve to evolve the PC for becoming more of a helper and less of a tool.

Source: Next at Microsoft blog

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This reminds of Google X labs..I wonder if MS has some really kool things that they can some how break out and unleash into the world. Just only heard about MS research hope they can bring it out in videos etc.

I'm guessing this video is meant as marketing for the general public, since he didn't say anything in the 3.5 minutes. Don't get me wrong, MSR does some very interesting research. It's just that the video lacks any real content.

That can be a big problem with some kinds of tech research. For instance a while back a group of people found a faster way to calculate FFTs, which is incredibly important. However, getting lay people excited in that research track would be neigh impossible. So you get results like this (machine learning is very heavy on statistics so a talk on their developments wouldn't excite many people due to what it would involve talking about)