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Microsoft Attempts to Predict the Future

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Don’t worry about Microsoft trying to follow your every move. The company probably already knows what you will do next.

The software giant wants to harness the power of machine learning--the statistically driven computing concepts that animate search engines and recommendation services--and other techniques to reduce power consumption, according to Rick Rashid, the senior vice president overseeing Microsoft Research.

“Computer science is becoming the underpinning of all of the other sciences,” he said. “Microsoft Research’s mission is to lay the intellectual foundation. We are trying to create the building blocks that other people can build on to craft other solutions.”

One experimental program, appropriately called Predestination, collects and processes data about urban traffic patterns, the behavior of drivers, your personal driving habits, the time of day, the time of year and other data. It then takes this data and puts it into an in-car recommendation engine that gives drivers dynamic advice on getting to their destination--or what the machine believes your destination will be based on your behavior--in the most efficient way at the moment. (Nissan has created robots for similar purposes.)

From Wired
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