From AI and data science to cryptography: Microsoft researchers offer 16 predictions for 2016


Microsoft publishes a collection of predictions from 16 leaders and leading thinkers within its Technology and Research organisation.


Microsoft writes:

Last month, Microsoft released “Future Visions,” an anthology of short stories written by some of today’s top science fiction writers based in part on the writers’ access to Microsoft researchers and their labs.  The eBook is available free from Amazon and other sites.

Today, we offer an anthology of a different sort.  This is a collection of predictions from 16 leaders and leading thinkers within our Technology and Research organization.

As we turn the page on a year when we’ve entered what Microsoft Research NExT corporate vice president Peter Lee calls “a new Golden Age of technological advancement,” we thought it would be instructive to get a sense for what lies ahead, not only next year, but 10 years from now as well.

Microsoft Research has more than 1,000 scientists and engineers who work across multiple disciplines in research labs around the world, so this list isn’t exhaustive, but hopefully you find it insightful.

2016 represents a milestone of sorts for Microsoft’s research arm. It marks the 25th year since its founding in 1991 by Nathan Myhrvold, who argued in a 21-page document sent to Bill Gates that Microsoft needed “to invest in our future by doing more work in research and technology creation.”

That investment has paid significant dividends, for Microsoft, the industry and society.  Perhaps at a time when as MIT President Rafael Reif has argued “we leave a lot of innovation ketchup in the bottle,” the company’s research investment is more important than ever before.

What innovation will emerge from the ketchup bottle in 2016?

Read 16 perspectives for ’16.

To read more information, click here.

At Microsoft Research in Cambridge, we truly aspire to transform the world through deep research. The bold and inquisitive minds of our researchers and engineers have produced, and continue to produce, significant contributions to Microsoft’s most successful products and services, as well as to the broader research community. The interdisciplinary nature of our lab ensures that we push the boundaries of computing in an inclusive way, resulting in robust and trusted technologies that can be deployed at scale. We have only scratched the surface of what technology can do for us, and I am tremendously excited to be working in a team that is so committed to having a significant impact upon our society.

Microsoft Research Ltd