Daniela Hernandez of Wired reports, "Drawing on the work of a clever cadre of academic researchers, the biggest names in tech—including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple—are embracing a more powerful form of AI known as 'deep learning,' using it to improve everything from speech recognition and language translation to computer vision, the ability to identify images without human help. In this new AI order, the general assumption is that Google is out in front… But now, Microsoft’s research arm says it has achieved new records with a deep learning system it calls Adam, which will be publicly discussed for the first time during an academic summit this morning at the company’s Redmond, Washington headquarters."
Hernandez continues, "According to Microsoft, Adam is twice as adept as previous systems at recognizing images—including, say, photos of a particular breed of dog or a type of vegetation—while using 30 times fewer machines (see video below). 'Adam is an exploration on how you build the biggest brain,' says Peter Lee, the head of Microsoft Research."
The announcement comes on the heels of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's recent distribution of a company manifesto of sorts. Nick Wingfield of The New York Times reports, "His 3,100-word essay, distributed by email to Microsoft employees Thursday morning, is Mr. Nadella’s mission statement and a rallying cry for the staff. Although it contained few specifics, the essay appeared to lay the groundwork for significant changes, to be announced this month. Mr. Nadella said everyone at Microsoft must find ways to simplify and work faster and more efficiently. 'We will increase the fluidity of information and ideas by taking actions to flatten the organization and develop leaner business processes,' he wrote. 'Culture change means we will do things differently'.”
Perhaps Adam is one of those changes. Watch Microsoft's video on the new project below, or read more here.