Microsoft creates artificial intelligence, research group

Microsoft says it has created a 5,000-person engineering and research team focused on artificial intelligence, an effort to reposition the company to capitalize on the rapid grown in software aided by machine-learning algorithms. The Redmond company is trying to make smarter software integral to its products, in applications like the Cortana voice-activated assistant and algorithms tied to the Office suite designed to help workers analyze how they spend their time. Such tools occupied much of Microsoft’s time at its Ignite information technology conference, held in Atlanta this week. In a speech there, CEO Satya Nadella compared the coming explosion in artificial intelligence technologies to milestones like the invention of the printing press and the internet. The new group will “enable Microsoft to create truly intelligent systems and products,” Harry Shum,…

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