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Microsoft announces expansion of Montreal AI research lab

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Microsoft logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

In early 2017, shortly after acquiring Microsoft announced (opens in new tab) that it would expand its presence in Montreal following its acquisition of local dee-learning research startup Maluuba. A year later, the tech giant is announcing plans to further expand its operations (opens in new tab) in the Canadian city, hiring a new research director in the process.

Perhaps the biggest move is Microsoft's hiring of Geoffrey Gordon, currently a Carnegie Mellon University professor and prominent artificial intelligence expert, to be the Montreal lab's new research director.

"We want to be doing the research that will be infusing AI into Microsoft products today and tomorrow, and Geoff's research really spans that," said Jennifer Chayes, a technical fellow and managing director of Microsoft Research New England, New York City and Montreal. "He'll be able to help us improve our products and he'll also be laying the foundation for AI to do much more than is possible today."

Additionally, Microsoft says that it plans to double the size of Microsoft Research Montreal over the next two years, increasing to upwards of 75 technical experts.

Chayes calls Montreal "one of the most exciting places in AI right now," and Microsoft has already seen some major advances come out of its local team. Those advances include bolstering machine reading comprehension (opens in new tab) and even teaching AI to handle complex tasks with none other than Ms. Pac-Man. This research may lead to potentially important discoveries as Microsoft looks to continue its all-out AI push in the coming years. For now, we're already seeing the fruits of early AI experiments in services like Office and Cortana.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

7 Comments
  • Now, that's what I'm talking about!
    We need to see more visible focus (backed up by actions) not just on the next frontier but the here and now. So it's a step in the right direction.
  • And...in one of the best cities in THE WORLD!  
  • Go Habs Go!
  • They are not doing very well this year,  Bergevin GUTTED the team.   Terrible Manager.  However,  Montreal as a city is AWESOME!!!!
  • Yet Microsoft have just laid people off, this seems like a bit of a kick in the teeth for them.
  • Different department lol.
  • After reading that first,  I thought,  damn,  Nadella at it again.  But,  think about it.   In an organization of 100,000,  anyone think that there could be 100 SLACKERS?  MS was just getting rid of dead weight?