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Microsoft is on the verge of unveiling an AI-driven hardware according to company's AI and Research Group executive vice president, Harry Shum. The new product will be a part of company's vision to integrate AI into every product offered by Microsoft. Shum also says that these products will be "very, very exciting."
The news comes in the wake of yet another reorganization within the company, as announced by CEO Satya Nadella. Microsoft will have two engineering teams: the Experiences & Devices group which will work under Rajesh Jha, and the Cloud and AI Platform group led by Jason Zander.
"When we established A.I.+R nearly two years ago, our primary goal was to accelerate the adoption of A.I. innovations from research into product, and the changes we are making today reflect our strong progress," said the CEO in an email to the employees. "We will continue to drive investments in A.I.+R across research and A.I. breakthroughs that are key to our long-term success."
In past couple of years, Microsoft has introduced a bot framework that brings its virtual assistants and chatbots to several tools and services. The company also managed improved its language translation technology during this time.
Besides, the company also serves services on its Azure platform, offering speech recognition, vision knowledge, and other technologies for the developers. Another example is company's HoloLens headset that supports high-resolution AR. It will be based on Microsoft's custom Holographic Processing Unit with an integrated coprocessor to handle deep neural networks and AI. Microsoft is also said to be working on dedicated AI processors for a slew of products.
"We have to continue to find those pieces of silicon, those chipsets that have to be developed to bring sensors to life, to connect people with each other and with their products," Panay told CNBC in November.
Despite all these initiatives, the company still needs to buckle up in the AI chip business where industry giants such as Apple are already housing its Bionic chips inside the iPhones. Huawei also relies on its Kirin 970 chip that has a built-in neural network processing unit for AI acceleration.