After months of speculation, Microsoft on Thursday announced that a separate team has been formed inside the organization that will focus primarily on the company’s AI product efforts. Microsoft also mentioned that over 5,000 of their engineers and computer scientists will be an exclusive part of this new team.
The team leader for this new AI project will be Harry Shum, a 20-year Microsoft veteran who has worked previously in ventures like Microsoft Research and Bing Engineering. In addition to Shum’s existing team, several of the company’s top rankers and teams will join the newly formed group including Information Platform, Cortana and Bing, and Ambient Computing and Robotics teams led by David Ku, Derrick Connell and Vijay Mital, respectively.
As written by us before, Microsoft’s next step towards software leadership is via the artificial intelligence route. It wants to have the early mover advantage and put in as much investment is required to capitalize on the booming AI/VR industry in technology currently.
“We live in a time when digital technology is transforming our lives, businesses and the world, but also generating an exponential growth in data and information. At Microsoft, we are focused on empowering both people and organizations, by democratizing access to intelligence to help solve our most pressing challenges. To do this, we are infusing AI into everything we deliver across our computing platforms and experiences,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.
Microsoft seems to be taking a four-way approach to micromanage their new AI department – Agents, Applications, Services and Infrastructure.
“Microsoft has been working in artificial intelligence since the beginning of Microsoft Research, and yet we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible,”said Shum, executive vice president of the Microsoft AI and Research Group.