An ongoing series of conversations bringing you right up to the cutting edge of Microsoft Research.
119 - Defending DRAM for data safety and security in the cloud
Dynamic random-access memory – or DRAM – is the most popular form of volatile computer memory in the world but it’s particularly susceptible to Rowhammer, an adversarial attack that can cause data loss and security exploits in everything from smart phones to the cloud.
Today, Dr. Stefan Saroiu, a Senior Principal Researcher in MSR’s Mobility and Networking group, explains why DRAM remains vulnerable to Rowhammer attacks today, even after several years of mitigation efforts, and then tells us how a new approach involving bespoke extensibility mechanisms for DRAM might finally hammer Rowhammer in the fight to keep data safe and secure.
118 - Accessible systems for sign language computation with Dr. Danielle Bragg
Many computer science researchers set their sights on building general AI technologies that could impact hundreds of millions – or even billions – of people. But Dr. Danielle Bragg, a senior researcher at MSR’s New England lab, has a slightly smaller and more specific population in mind: the some seventy million people worldwide who use sign languages as their primary means of communication.
Today, Dr. Bragg gives us an insightful overview of the field and talks about the unique challenges and opportunities of building systems that expand access to information in line with the needs and desires of the deaf and signing community.
117 - Provably efficient reinforcement learning with Dr. Akshay Krishnamurthy
MSR’s New York City lab is home to some of the best reinforcement learning research on the planet but if you ask any of the researchers, they’ll tell you they’re very interested in getting it out of the lab and into the real world. One of those researchers is Dr. Akshay Krishnamurthy and today, he explains how his work on feedback-driven data collection and provably efficient reinforcement learning algorithms is helping to move the RL needle in the real-world direction.
116 - Harvesting randomness, HAIbrid algorithms and safe AI with Dr. Siddhartha Sen
Dr. Siddhartha Sen is a Principal Researcher in MSR’s New York City lab, and his research interests are, if not impossible, at least impossible sounding: optimal decision making, universal data structures, and verifiably safe AI.
Today, he tells us how he’s using reinforcement learning and HAIbrid algorithms to tap the best of both human and machine intelligence and develop AI that’s minimally disruptive, synergistic with human solutions, and safe.
036r - A conversation with Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott
This episode originally aired in August, 2018.
Kevin Scott has embraced many roles over the course of his illustrious career in technology: software developer, engineering executive, researcher, angel investor, philanthropist, and now, Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft. But perhaps no role suits him so well – or has so fundamentally shaped all the others – as his self-described role of “all-around geek.”
Today, in a wide-ranging interview, Kevin shares his insights on both the history and the future of computing, talks about how his impulse to celebrate the extraordinary people “behind the tech” led to an eponymous non-profit organization and a podcast, and… reveals the superpower he got when he was in grad school.
115 - Diving into Deep InfoMax with Dr. Devon Hjelm
Dr. Devon Hjelm is a senior researcher at the Microsoft Research lab in Montreal, and today, he joins me to dive deep into his research on Deep InfoMax, a novel self-supervised learning approach to training AI models – and getting good representations – without human annotation. He also tells us how an interest in neural networks, first human and then machine, led to an inspiring career in deep learning research.