Microsoft Research Podcast
Microsoft Research Podcast
Researchers across the Microsoft research community
An ongoing series of conversations bringing you right up to the cutting edge of Microsoft Research.
149 - AI Frontiers: The future of scale with Ahmed Awadallah and Ashley Llorens
Powerful large-scale AI models like GPT-4 are showing dramatic improvements in reasoning, problem-solving, and language capabilities. This marks a phase change for artificial intelligence—and a signal of accelerating progress to come.  In this Microsoft Research Podcast series, AI scientist and engineer Ashley Llorens (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/allorens/) hosts conversations with his collaborators and colleagues about what these models—and the models that will come next—mean for our approach to creating, understanding, and deploying AI, its applications in areas such as healthcare and education, and its potential to benefit humanity.This episode features Senior Principal Research Manager Ahmed H. Awadallah (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/hassanam/), whose work improving the efficiency of large-scale AI models and efforts to help move advancements in the space from research to practice have put him at the forefront of this new era of AI. Awadallah discusses the shift in dynamics between model size and amount—and quality—of data when it comes to model training; the recently published paper “Orca: Progressive Learning from Complex Explanation Traces of GPT-4,” which further explores the use of large-scale AI models to improve the performance of smaller, less powerful ones; and the need for better evaluation strategies, particularly as we move into a future in which Awadallah hopes to see gains in these models’ ability to continually learn.Learn more:* Orca: Progressive Learning from Complex Explanation Traces of GPT-4 (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/orca-progressive-learning-from-complex-explanation-traces-of-gpt-4/), June 2023 * Textbooks Are All You Need II: phi-1.5 technical report (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/textbooks-are-all-you-need-ii-phi-1-5-technical-report/), September 2023* AutoGen: Enabling Next-Gen LLM Applications via Multi-Agent Conversation Framework (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/autogen-enabling-next-gen-llm-applications-via-multi-agent-conversation-framework/), August 2023 * LIDA: Automatic Generation of Grammar-Agnostic Visualizations and Infographics using Large Language Models (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/lida-automatic-generation-of-grammar-agnostic-visualizations-and-infographics-using-large-language-models/), March 2023* AI Explainer: Foundation models ​and the next era of AI (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/blog/ai-explainer-foundation-models-and-the-next-era-of-ai/), March 2023 * AI and Microsoft Research (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/focus-area/ai-and-microsoft-research/)
Sep 14, 2023
42 min
148 - Abstracts: September 13, 2023
Members of the research community at Microsoft work continuously to advance their respective fields. Abstracts brings its audience to the cutting edge with them through short, compelling conversations about new and noteworthy achievements.In the inaugural episode of the series, Dr. Ava Amini (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/avasoleimany/) and Dr. Kevin K. Yang, (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/kevyan/) both Senior Researchers with Microsoft Health Futures, join host Dr. Gretchen Huizinga to discuss “Protein generation with evolutionary diffusion: Sequence is all you need.” The paper introduces EvoDiff, a suite of models that leverages evolutionary-scale protein data to help design novel proteins more efficiently. Improved protein engineering has the potential to help create new vaccines to prevent disease and new ways to recycle plastics.
Sep 13, 2023
12 min
147 - Intern Insights: Dr. Josh Benaloh with Anunay Kulshrestha and Karan Newatia
Every year, interns from academic institutions around the world apply and grow their knowledge as members of the research community at Microsoft. In this Microsoft Research Podcast series, these students join their internship supervisors to share their experience working alongside some of the leading researchers in their respective fields.In this episode, PhD students Anunay Kulshrestha (https://kul.sh/) and Karan Newatia (https://karannewatia.github.io/) talk to Senior Cryptographer Josh Benaloh (https://microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/benaloh/) about their work this summer on ElectionGuard, a free, open-source toolkit that enables voters to verify that their votes have been accurately counted. Kulshrestha and Newatia discuss their contributions to extending ElectionGuard to mail-in voting and rank-choice voting, respectively; what is needed for widespread adoption of the verifiable election technology; and why they’d recommend a Microsoft internship to other students.(Editor’s note: After its design and development by Microsoft, ElectionGuard is now part of the newly formed nonprofit Election Technology Initiative, which will join with Microsoft to further ElectionGuard’s growth and help advance its adoption.)Learn more* ElectionGuard (https://www.electionguard.vote/) | Project page* The next frontier in elections: Microsoft supports the Council of State Governments’ Election Technology Initiative (https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2023/07/28/council-of-state-governments-election-technology-initiative-electionguard/) | Microsoft On the Issues blog, July 2023* Security and Cryptography (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/group/security-and-cryptography/) | Group page
Sep 8, 2023
39 min
146 - AI Frontiers: AI in India and beyond with Sriram Rajamani
Powerful large-scale AI models like GPT-4 are showing dramatic improvements in reasoning, problem-solving, and language capabilities. This marks a phase change for artificial intelligence—and a signal of accelerating progress to come. In this Microsoft Research Podcast series, AI scientist and engineer Ashley Llorens (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/allorens/) hosts conversations with his collaborators and colleagues about what these models—and the models that will come next—mean for our approach to creating, understanding, and deploying AI, its applications in areas such as healthcare and education, and its potential to benefit humanity.This episode features Sriram Rajamani (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/sriram/), Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director of Microsoft Research India. Rajamani talks about how the lab’s work is being influenced by today’s rapidly advancing AI. One example? The development of a conversational agent in India capable of providing information about governmental agricultural programs in farmers’ natural language, particularly significant in a country with more than 30 languages, including 22 government-recognized languages. It’s an application Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella described as the “mic drop moment” of his trip to the lab early this year.Learn more* AI4Bhārat (https://ai4bharat.iitm.ac.in/) | Organization homepage* MEGA: Multilingual Evaluation of Generative AI (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/mega-multilingual-evaluation-of-generative-ai/) | Publication, May 2023* AI and Microsoft Research (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/focus-area/ai-and-microsoft-research/) | Learn more about the breadth of AI research at Microsoft
Aug 31, 2023
40 min
145 - Collaborators: Project InnerEye with Javier Alvarez and Raj Jena
Transforming research ideas into meaningful impact is no small feat. It often requires the knowledge and experience of individuals from across disciplines and institutions. Collaborators, a new Microsoft Research Podcast series, explores the relationships—both expected and unexpected—behind the projects, products, and services being pursued and delivered by researchers at Microsoft and the diverse range of people they’re teaming up with.In this episode, Dr. Gretchen Huizinga talks with Microsoft Health Futures Senior Director Javier Alvarez and Dr. Raj Jena, a radiation oncologist at Addenbrooke’s hospital, part of Cambridge University Hospitals in the United Kingdom, about Project InnerEye, a Microsoft Research effort that applies machine learning to medical image analysis. The pair shares how a 10-plus-year collaborative journey—and a combination of research and good software engineering—has resulted in the hospital’s creation of an AI system that is helping to decrease the time cancer patients have to wait to begin treatment. Alvarez and Jena chart the path of their collaboration in AI-assisted medical imaging, from Microsoft Research’s initiation of Project InnerEye and its decision to make the resulting research tools available in open source to Addenbrooke’s subsequent testing and validation of these tools to meet the regulatory requirements for use in a clinical setting. They also discuss supporting clinician productivity—and ultimately patient outcomes—and the important role patients play in incorporating AI into healthcare.Learn more:* Project InnerEye (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/medical-image-analysis/) | Project page* How AI is helping to shrink waiting times for NHS cancer patients (https://news.microsoft.com/en-gb/2023/06/27/ai-helping-shrink-waiting-times-nhs-cancer-patients/) | Microsoft News Centre UK blog post, June 2023* Accounting for past imaging studies: Enhancing radiology AI and reporting (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/blog/accounting-for-past-imaging-studies-enhancing-radiology-ai-and-reporting/) | Microsoft Research blog, June 2023* Microsoft Health Futures (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/lab/microsoft-health-futures/) | Lab page* Biomedical Imaging (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/group/biomedical-imaging/) | Research group page* Evaluation of Deep Learning to Augment Image Guided Radiotherapy for Head and Neck and Prostate Cancers (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/evaluation-of-deep-learning-to-augment-image-guided-radiotherapy-for-head-and-neck-and-prostate-cancers/) | JAMA publication, November 2020
Aug 17, 2023
39 min
144 - Collaborators: Data-driven decision-making with Jina Suh and Shamsi Iqbal
Transforming research ideas into meaningful impact is no small feat. It often requires the knowledge and experience of individuals from across disciplines and institutions. Collaborators, a new Microsoft Research Podcast series, explores the relationships—both expected and unexpected—behind the projects, products, and services being pursued and delivered by researchers at Microsoft and the diverse range of people they’re teaming up with.In this episode of the podcast, Dr. Gretchen Huizinga welcomes Principal Researcher Dr. Jina Suh (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/jinsuh/) and Principal Applied and Data Science Manager Dr. Shamsi Iqbal (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/shamsi/) to the show to discuss their most recent work together, a research project aimed at developing data-driven tools to support organizational leaders and executives in their decision-making. The longtime collaborators explore how a long history of collaboration helps them thrive in their work to help workplaces thrive, how their relationship has evolved over the years, particularly with Iqbal’s move from the research side to the product side, and how research and product can align to achieve impact.Learn more:* HUE: Human Understanding and Empathy (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/group/human-understanding-and-empathy/) | Project page* Microsoft Viva (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-viva) | Product page
Aug 3, 2023
42 min
143 - Collaborators: Gaming AI with Haiyan Zhang
Transforming research ideas into meaningful impact is no small feat. It often requires the knowledge and experience of individuals from across disciplines and institutions. Collaborators, a new Microsoft Research Podcast series, explores the relationships—both expected and unexpected—behind the projects, products, and services being pursued and delivered by researchers at Microsoft and the diverse range of people they’re teaming up with.In the world of gaming, Haiyan Zhang (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/hazhang/) has situated herself where research meets real-world challenges, helping to bring product teams and researchers together to elevate the player experience with the latest AI advances even before the job became official with the creation of her current role, General Manager of Gaming AI. In this episode, she talks with host Dr. Gretchen Huizinga about the variety of expertise needed to avoid the discomfort experienced by players when they encounter a humanlike character displaying inhuman behavior, the potential for generative AI to make gaming better for both players and creators, and the games she grew up playing and what she plays now.Learn more:* Game Intelligence (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/group/game-intelligence/) | Group page* Project Paidia (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/project-paidia/) | Project page* TrueSkill™ Ranking System (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/trueskill-ranking-system/) | Project page* TrueMatch Matchmaking System (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/truematch/) | Project page* Grounded Conversational Characters (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/grounded-conversational-characters/) | Project page
Jul 20, 2023
44 min
142 - Collaborators: Holoportation™ communication technology with Spencer Fowers and Kwame Darko
Transforming research ideas into meaningful impact is no small feat. It often requires the knowledge and experience of individuals from across disciplines and institutions. Collaborators, a new Microsoft Research Podcast series, explores the relationships—both expected and unexpected—behind the projects, products, and services being pursued and delivered by researchers at Microsoft and the diverse range of people they’re teaming up with.In this episode, host Dr. Gretchen Huizinga welcomes Dr. Spencer Fowers (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/sfowers/), a member of the Special Projects Technical Staff at Microsoft Research, and Dr. Kwame Darko (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kwame-darko-70847116/), a plastic surgeon in the reconstructive plastic surgery and burns center in Ghana’s Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. The two are among a group working to make specialized medical care more widely available, especially to those in remote or underserved communities. They share how their 3D telecommunication technology helps bring patients and doctors together when being in the same room isn’t an easy option and how the experience is supporting greater patient satisfaction, allowing more time for surgeons to prepare for surgery, and making the assembly of a super team of medical experts from around the globe more feasible.Learn more:* 3D telemedicine brings better care to underserved and rural communities, even across continents (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/blog/3d-telemedicine-brings-better-care-to-underserved-and-rural-communities-even-across-continents/) | Microsoft Research Blog, May 2023* Microsoft’s Holoportation Communications Technology: Facilitating 3D Telemedicine (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/video/microsofts-holoportation-communications-technology-facilitating-3d-telemedicine/) | Microsoft Research video, May 2023* Participatory Development of a 3D Telemedicine system during Covid: the future of remote consultations (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/participatory-development-of-a-3d-telemedicine-system-during-covid-the-future-of-remote-consultations/) | Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, October 2022* 3D Telemedicine (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/3d-telemedicine/) | Project page* Holoportation (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/holoportation-3/) | Project page* Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (https://kbth.gov.gh/brief-history/the-korle-bu-way/)
Jul 6, 2023
38 min
141 - Collaborators: Renewable energy storage with Bichlien Nguyen and David Kwabi
Transforming research ideas into meaningful impact is no small feat. It often requires the knowledge and experience of individuals from across disciplines and institutions. Collaborators, a new Microsoft Research Podcast series, explores the relationships—both expected and unexpected—behind the projects, products, and services being pursued and delivered by researchers at Microsoft and the diverse range of people they’re teaming up with.In this episode, Microsoft Principal Researcher Dr. Bichlien Nguyen (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/bnguy/) and Dr. David Kwabi, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan (https://me.engin.umich.edu/people/faculty/david-kwabi/), join host Dr. Gretchen Huizinga to talk about how their respective research interests—and those of their larger teams—are converging to develop renewable energy storage systems. They specifically explore their work in flow batteries and how machine learning can help more effectively search the vast organic chemistry space to identify compounds with properties just right for storing waterpower and other renewables for a not rainy day. The bonus? These new compounds may just help advance carbon capture, too.Learn more* Microsoft Climate Research Initiative (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/collaboration/microsoft-climate-research-initiative/)* Project Zerix (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/project-zerix/)* Project Carbonix (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/project-carbonix/)* Kwabi Lab, University of Michigan (https://sites.google.com/umich.edu/kwabilab/home)* Understanding capacity fade in organic redox-flow batteries by combining spectroscopy with statistical inference techniques (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-39257-z)
Jun 22, 2023
43 min
140 - AI Frontiers: The future of causal reasoning with Emre Kiciman and Amit Sharma
Powerful new large-scale AI models like GPT-4 are showing dramatic improvements in reasoning, problem-solving, and language capabilities. This marks a phase change for artificial intelligence—and a signal of accelerating progress to come.In this Microsoft Research Podcast series, AI scientist and engineer Ashley Llorens (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/allorens/) hosts conversations with his collaborators and colleagues about what these new models—and the models that will come next—mean for our approach to creating, understanding, and deploying AI, its applications in areas such as health care and education, and its potential to benefit humanity.This episode features Senior Principal Researcher Emre Kiciman (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/emrek/) and Principal Researcher Amit Sharma (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/amshar/), whose paper “Causal Reasoning and Large Language Models: Opening a New Frontier for Causality” examines the causal capabilities of large language models (LLMs) and their implications. Kiciman and Sharma break down the study of cause and effect; recount their respective ongoing journeys with GPT-3.5 and GPT-4—from their preconceptions to where they are now—and share their views of a future in which LLMs help bring together different modes of reasoning in the practice of causal inference and make causal methods easier to adopt.Learn more* Causal Reasoning and Large Language Models: Opening a New Frontier for Causality (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/causal-reasoning-and-large-language-models-opening-a-new-frontier-for-causality/) | Publication, April 2023* The AI Revolution in Medicine: GPT-4 and Beyond (https://www.informit.com/store/ai-revolution-in-medicine-gpt-4-and-beyond-9780138200138) | Book by Peter Lee, April 2023* AI and Microsoft Research (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/focus-area/ai-and-microsoft-research/) | Learn more about the breadth of AI research at Microsoft
Jun 8, 2023
41 min
Load more