Technical Fellow & Director, Microsoft Research Labs
Pursuing research on principles of machine intelligence and on leveraging the complementarities of human and machine reasoning. Insatiable curiosity about computational foundations of intelligence. Passionate about harnessing computing advances to enhance the quality of peoples' lives through insights, services, and wellness. The Microsoft Research home page is a starting point for browsing through people, projects, and events at Microsoft Research labs across the world. Folks may also enjoy hearing directly from people at Microsoft Research via the Microsoft Research podcast series.
Publications For the general reader
Bounded rationality     Human-AI collaboration     AI & Privacy     Data & public health
I've long been curious about the computational foundations of intelligence: How do our minds work? What computational principles and architectures underly thinking and intelligent behavior? I've pursued answers via studies of machine perception, learning, reasoning, and decision making. Many questions remain unanswered and much research is to be done. On the way to a deeper understanding, I work to field working systems that can immediately deliver value in the world. Projects include efforts in time-critical decisions, information retrieval, healthcare, urban infrastructure, sustainability, and development--with goals of understanding how computational models perform amidst real-world complexities, and of deploying systems that deliver value to people and society. A key focus of my work has been on opportunities to leverage the complementarities of human and machine intelligence. Related interests include machine learning and decision making for crowdsourcing and human computation, information triage and alerting that takes human attention into consideration, spanning work on notification systems, surprise modeling, multitasking, and psychological studies of interruption and recovery. On the more theoretical front, I've been long interested in offline and real-time optimization of the expected value of
computational systems under limited and varying resources. Areas of concentration in this realm include
flexible or anytime computation, ideal metareasoning
for guiding computation, compilation
for reducing real-time deliberation, ongoing, continual computation, and the construction of bounded-optimal reasoning systems--systems that
maximize the expected utility of the people they serve, given the
expected costs of reasoning, the problems
encountered over time, and assertions about a system's constitution. Research in this arena includes
tackling hard reasoning problems with learning and decision making methods.
Completed cycle of service as president and then past-president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), and remain active with AAAI strategic planning. Serving on the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB), Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine, on the External Advisory Board of the Center for Causal Discovery, and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Allen Institute for AI (AI2). Recently served as chair of the Section on Information, Computing, and Communication of the AAAS, President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) NITRD Working Group, NIH Advisory Committee to the Director NLM Working Group, and National Academies Committee on Information Techology, Automation, and the Workforce.
Fellow of the AAAI, ACM, AAAS, ACMI, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and elected to the CHI Academy.
Blast to the relevant past.
- Activities and service
- News and reports
- Recent presentations
- Recent panels and studies
One Hundred Year Study on AI (Presentation, Framing memo, 2016 Report, press release, Science, NYTimes)
ICMI 2015 Award Lecture
ICML 2014 keynote: "People, Decisions, and Cognition: On Deeper Engagements with Machine Learning"
Situated Interaction project, recent story, publications
BBC Report on Artificial intelligence: How to turn Siri into Samantha
- Rise of Concerns about AI: Reflections and Directions, Communications of the ACM, 58(10) 38-40.
- Decisions & Ethics Center interview
- Privacy, AI and the AI Enterprise, Presentation at IAPP, Wash DC.
- Pharmacovigilance via search Logs, Nature CPT.
- Airplanes as sensor network for wind forecasts, IPSN 2014. See U.S. wind flows, inferred from thousands of planes in flight.
- New direction on privacy: Stochastic Privacy, AAAI 2014.
- Panel discussion: Progress in AI: Myths, Realities, and Aspirations (Faculty Summit video)
- Discussion: Computational Rationality (video)
- Big Data, Big Disease: Mining for Medical Breakthroughs, at Atlantic Meets the Pacific.
Human Computation & Crowdsourcing Conference (background on conference)
- Asilomar Meeting on Long-Term AI Futures (Highlights, NYTimes story, NPR podcast on Singularity).
- Computing Research Initiatives for the 21st Century (CCC whitepapers).
- On "six degrees of separation" study: Washington Post, CNBC video, Nature article.
- TEDx talk on People, Computing, and Intelligence
- Big Data, Big Disease: Mining for Medical Breakthroughs at Atlantic Meets the Pacific meeting.
- Origins panel
- Keeping Up with The Jetsons at Atlantic-Live New York ideas meeting.
- Predictive analytics in healthcare.
- Predictive analytics for traffic and routing.
- Detecting drug interactions from search logs (NPR Science Friday discussion)
- Predicting the future from news archives (Technology Review article)
- On Predicting Health outcomes (short video)
- Surprise Modeling - video (Technology Review, Ten Emerging Technologies).
- Decision Education Foundation.
- The Safety Illusion: For New & Seasoned Car Drivers (pptx format, longer presentation).
- Crowdphysics (New Scientist article)
- AAAI Panel on Long-Term AI Futures.
- AI for Development site and AAAI Symposium on AI-D.
- Short talk on Predicting Future Health outcomes (Connected Healthcare meeting)
- Minds, Machines, and Intelligence: A Conversation, Behind the Code series.
- Discussion about artificial intelligence on the Charlie Rose Show.
- Overview video on Situated Interaction project.
- Artificial Intelligence in the Open World, AAAI Presidential Address, Chicago, IL, July 2008.
- "Please Do Not Board The Elevator With The Robot:" On challenges ahead.
- Artificial Intelligence Theory and Practice: Hard Challenges and Opportunities Ahead (panel discussion), Faculty Summit, Microsoft Research, July 2008 (video, photo).
- Overview video on efforts in notifications and attention.
- Presentation on Notification Platform project as part of Bill Gates keynote at CHI 2001, Seattle, April 2001 (photo, video).
- Brief glimpse of mixed-initiative Lookout system in a 1999 television commercial.
- MSR Downloads (including Outlook Mobile Manager 18.104.22.168 and Scalable Fabric prototype).
- Augmented Cognition meeting at Microsoft.
- Neuroeconomics: A personal view.
- Early handsfree Bayesian system for traumacare.
- Several members of the Decision Science and Computer Science communities at the wedding reception for Eric and Mary.
firstname.lastname@example.org       @erichorvitz       One Microsoft Way, Redmond WA 98052