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Microsoft Researchers Offer Predictions For AI, Deep Learning (theverge.com) 102

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Microsoft polled 17 women working in its research organization about the technology advances they expect to see in 2017, as well as a decade later in 2027. The researchers' predictions touch on natural language processing, machine learning, agricultural software, and virtual reality, among other topics. For virtual reality, Mar Gonzalez Franco, a researcher in Microsoft's Redmond lab, believes body tracking will improve next year, and then over the next decade we'll have "rich multi-sensorial experiences that will be capable of producing hallucinations which blend or alter perceives reality." Haptic devices will simulate touch to further enhance the sensory experience. Meanwhile, Susan Dumais, a scientist and deputy managing director at the Redmond lab, believes deep learning will help improve web search results next year. In 2027, however, the search box will disappear, she says. It'll be replaced by search that's more "ubiquitous, embedded, and contextually sensitive." She says we're already seeing some of this in voice-controlled searches through mobile and smart home devices. We might eventually be able to look things up with either sound, images, or video. Plus, our searches will respond to "current location, content, entities, and activities" without us explicitly mentioning them, she says. Of course, it's worth noting that Microsoft has been losing the search box war to Google, so it isn't surprising that the company thinks search will die. With global warming as a looming threat, Asta Roseway, principal research designer, says by 2027 famers will use AI to maintain healthy crop yields, even with "climate change, drought, and disaster." Low-energy farming solutions, like vertical farming and aquaponics, will also be essential to keeping the food supply high, she says. You can view all 17 predictions here.
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Microsoft Researchers Offer Predictions For AI, Deep Learning

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  • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2016 @11:32PM (#53437683)

    Flip the gender, and watch the outraged accusations of sexism.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Flip the gender and it wouldn't be noted.

      • *virtue_signal*I don't mind these are all women, I think it's great.*virtue_signal*

        However, how many times on Facebook now have I seen an image of "Tumps Economic Team" noting that it's all men and a few of them named Steve to boot? (Never mind that he has already appointed a few women for various roles, or that he won the election because of a team of women)

        You seriously do not think MS would be roasted if in this ay and age they came out with a think piece like this, all from men?

        Heck, you are doing that

      • Flip the gender and it wouldn't be noted.

        That's because it would more likely, therefore less marked. I'd actually expect "outraged accusations of sexism" to follow in the less-likely scenario. Unless the labs are actually staffed with a female majority, of course. In that case, selecting females is more likely and the less marked case.

    • Flip the gender, and watch the outraged accusations of sexism.

      I'm watching the outrage now. Why did you think I would need to flip the gender to see it?

  • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2016 @11:59PM (#53437799)

    ... because that's all they have.

  • Sprawl Tech (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by subk ( 551165 )
    "rich multi-sensorial experiences that will be capable of producing hallucinations which blend or alter perceived reality."

    Sounds like someone has been reading William Gibson novels. This sounds exactly like SimStim or cruising The Matrix with an Ono Sendai.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Gibson said:

      The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed.

      MS have a track record of always being on the future-deficient side.

  • The fact that they ask only women implies there is some reason to do that,
    Yet we are left to guess at what that reason is.
    The most obvious is that women have a better opinion.
    How is that supportable? Why would they?

    This is the kind of thing people get slapped in the face with every day but never draw any conclusions from because the obvious conclusion is forbidden socially (forbidden by the media/education system (everyone sees it therefore it's morally correct and the truth)).

    Obviously there is a unified a

    • by Gadget_Guy ( 627405 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @02:57AM (#53438255)

      The fact that they ask only women implies there is some reason to do that,
      Yet we are left to guess at what that reason is.
      The most obvious is that women have a better opinion.
      How is that supportable? Why would they?

      Why are we left to guess at the reason? It is explicitly discussed in the source article [microsoft.com].

      [Women] account for less than 20 percent of computer science graduates in 34 OECD countries
      ...
      One issue sometimes cited for the dearth of women in computing fields is the lack of professional role models who could inspire girls to pursue their STEM dreams. We've attempted to counteract this by asking 17 women within Microsoft's global research organization their views on what's likely to occur in their fields in 2017.

      No, it's not that they think that women's opinions are better than those of men. Nor is it some direct attack against men. Since that idea came from your imagination, there is no need to get hot under the collar about it and attribute bad motives for to the authors of the study.

      So remember the next time you feel that the world is out to get you and that the media hides the "obvious conclusions", that it is all in your head. Your own feelings of persecution have coloured your view of the world.

      • by javilon ( 99157 )

        My feeling is that this is a PR stunt. Basically they give the opinions from 17 people at MS that happen to belong to a "minority" group (in IT). They want to show the world that they do have female researchers.

        Problem is, the headline says "MS researchers offer predictions..." where it should read "MS female researchers offer predictions...". Why? because if you just say "researchers" people will assume the selection criteria to be "top researchers".

        Its like you ask to "offer predictions" to those MS resea

        • My feeling is that this is a PR stunt.

          Well of course there is an element of PR in this. When does any company put out any discussion paper on any subject that doesn't have PR in mind? But that doesn't mean that they didn't have a genuine concern to encourage girls to take up computer science.

          Problem is, the headline says "MS researchers offer predictions..." where it should read "MS female researchers offer predictions...". Why? because if you just say "researchers" people will assume the selection criteria to be "top researchers".

          It would be counter-productive to add the word "female" to the headline. Look at how it has riled up all the insecure man-children just because of that one word "women" in the summary. Imagine how much more of a frenzy of feelings of persecution there would

      • So remember the next time you feel that the world is out to get you and that the media hides the "obvious conclusions", that it is all in your head. Your own feelings of persecution have coloured your view of the world.

        I take this as a sign that you are frustrated by your general lack of success in persuading people who are suspicious about "social justice".
        This is one example, and you assert that it should be taken as a sign above all others and that I should change my mind based on this one, assuming that

        • I take this as a sign that you are frustrated by your general lack of success in persuading people who are suspicious about "social justice".

          Once again you have created an entire backstory to rant against that is unsupportable. That comment would make more sense if it wasn't my first post for this story. I will admit though, it is the second time this week [slashdot.org] that I have had to reply to some opinionated posters who obviously hadn't read even the first couple of paragraphs of the article about which they ranted.

          Do you want to know why I felt qualified to make such a diagnose for someone that I hadn't even met? I recognise the symptoms because I am e

          • The fact that you are making such an effort to deny it and ignore my criticism of your argument could be taken as proof that I am correct on all counts.

            If you have reason on your side why are you being so defensive and rancorous?

            Anyway
            You are totally ignoring that affirmative action exists everywhere and is totally unjustifiable. So other than having absolutely no idea what you're talking about, good work.

            • The fact that you are making such an effort to deny it and ignore my criticism of your argument could be taken as proof that I am correct on all counts.

              The fact that you have ignored everything in the article AND everything that I have said in preference to your mere suspicions about social justice shows that you are not even in the ballpark of correctness. It's also interesting that you consider attempts to educate you (including citing sources) to be being defensive.

              So let's see your stunning argument that I can't refute...

              You are totally ignoring that affirmative action exists everywhere and is totally unjustifiable.

              That argument is completely demolished by all the places that I have shown that this has absolutely nothing to do with affirmative ac

              • You are obsessed with quibbling over this specific article when its only significance is in a bigger picture. And you have absolutely NO POINT about the article itself. When your points are refuted you turn to taking things out of context and twisting meanings to fit your point of view, and above all cherry-picking an appropriate scope of things to fit your point of view regardless of any rationale.

                If this is "about encouraging girls to choose STEM careers" then it is a falsehood because on its face it says

                • You are obsessed with quibbling over this specific article when its only significance is in a bigger picture. And you have absolutely NO POINT about the article itself.

                  Oh this is hilarious! I'm obsessed with quibbling about the specifics of the article, and yet at the same time I have no point about the article? Which is it??? There is no significance in any bigger picture because this topic was not about affirmative action in the first place. It was presented here about tech predictions for next year and beyond. That fact that this was done as part of a project to encourage girls (which once again has nothing to do with affirmative action) is just coincidental and deemed

                  • Not reading any of your insane babbling, but you are no doubt denying your obsession.

                    LOOK AT THE WALL OF TEXT

                    how do you justify what you're doing?

                    • how do you justify what you're doing?

                      I justify it by actually proving what I'm saying, unlike you who simply claims to be right based on guesses and preconceived notions of the "broader picture" without offering a single shred of evidence for anything that you say.

                      It seems fitting that I finished off by asking you to admit one of your mistakes; that you hadn't even read the article about which you ranted and raved. It seems fitting that you didn't even read that!

                    • This is what I love about your kind. You love "evidence" but you have no idea what it is.
                      Go ahead and try to define it.
                      Then I'll give you the correct answer.

                    • It doesn't matter if you and I have different definitions of evidence, because you haven't even attempted to provide anything that could be considered remotely like evidence. Your entire argument is that affirmative action exists; they only surveyed women; so therefore this is an example of affirmative action. You managed to do this all without reading the article. When I pointed out that the article directly contradicts what you admitted what just a guess, you said that their stated reason was implausible

                    • The point is your "definition" of evidence is base completely in emotion. You couldn't define it because it doesn't exist.

                      You are obviously and seriously mentally ill and probably illiterate. I addressed and refuted every point you tried to make.
                      For anything I say against you, you then get the idea to say the exact same against me. I don't think you realize how obvious this is.

                      Your time in your echo chamber has severely warped your mind. Take a break. Forever. You can't handle the news.

                    • Oh how sweet. You're still around. And you're still trying to peddle that evidence argument.

                      The point is your "definition" of evidence is base completely in emotion.

                      Really? Perhaps you can provide some non-emotional evidence for that assertion. You see, I have quoted you before. I have quoted the articles that we are (supposed to be) discussing. I have also linked to other sources to back up my claims.

                      You have done none of this. You don't quote anything. you don't cite anything. You make off-topic claims that get more fanciful all the time. My "emotional" evidence for my claim i

  • by ( 4621901 )

    TL;DR: It's actually 17 predictions for 2017 and 17 for 2027 predictions on 17 (almost) different questions about technology by 17 different MS female researchers.

    TL;DR for TL;DR: some women talking about predictions

    TL;DR for TL;DR for TL;DR: sry, no b**bs. only research guesses

  • Since every other post seems to be eye-rollinging inept trolls or meta-commentary about gender along the full spectrums, I thought I'd actually pos about the content since I read most of the article before I saw it on Slashdot...

    It's more interesting than you might think as the people polled are from different technical fields, so the answers are a lot more varied than you usually get in a predictive piece.

    If you take a step back though what is really interesting is how much the whole thing together looks l

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Pretty thinly veiled attempt by MS to get free publicity from media outlets sympathetic to SJW crusades against straight white cisgendered men.

    Looks like /. is as much about culture wars as it is tech news.

    In b4 AmiMoJo is triggered by this post.

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      I'm a white, cisgendered male, and feel none of the pathetic fear that you do. They can ask women whatever they like and it's fine by me. Just as well we're not all like you isn't it?
      • You are a wackjob. Why does it matter you are a white, cisgendered male? It is the Internet. No one knows what you are. You might be a dog. Ask yourself why the post said "17 women" and not "17 researchers" or "17 thought leaders"? It is denigrating to those polled to be simply identified by their gender, instead of their relevant expertise.
        • Because it's a fact that the 17 people they polled were women?

          Are you that insecure? lol

          • No, because they identified them only by their gender, not their relevant expertise. Why didn't they call them "researchers"? That is very demeaning to only identify people by their race or gender if it isn't relevant to the issue.
            • They did, if you read the entire sentence. Part of the second one help too with the whole 'context' thing.

              I know, it's a tough thing to read entire lines of text when you've obviously got a chip on your shoulder. That's a hard weight to carry.

              • They did eventually use "researchers" in one of the sentences. The first sentence is: "Microsoft polled 17 women working in its research organization about the technology advances they expect to see in 2017".

                Not "researchers" or "experts", but "women".

                That is demeaning. You know exactly what I mean talking about. Of course you are a fuckwit who will never admit it so I won't even bother.
        • I'm sure those 17 women/researchers/thought-leaders will be grateful to be defended by someone whose first instinct is to call people abusive names. Did you ask those 17 people if they actually felt denigrated to be called women? Did you even read the blog post that inspired the article (listed at the bottom of the /. summary) to find if there was a reason why they chose to just talk to women and why they wanted to let the world know this? The answer to both those questions is no.

          They asked women to counter

  • by iampiti ( 1059688 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @05:08AM (#53438527)
    I guess that in 2027 it will still spy you without the user being able to disable that.
  • Great, fake news isn't bad enough, now we will wire the fake news directly to our brains?

  • The summary posted mentions crop rotation but the article itself does not mention it. Thankfully using AI to perform crop rotation is not in the article. Imagine an AI telling us to rotate to different crops on the same land, I think we figured this out hundreds of years ago by illiterate farmers ( don't mean to disparage farmers, high kudos to all farmers, only trying to stress the point of dumbing down of modern society and losing our knowledge which used to be common sense and now thinking only AI could

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