Before the promotion, Horvitz has been a technical researcher and Director at Microsoft Research Laboratory. He joined Microsoft in 1993 and spent most of the 16 years as one of the main researchers in the company. He is also co-Chairman of the company’s artificial intelligence and ethics of engineering and research(magic)Committee.
According to Microsoft, Horvitz,”will provide cross-company leadership on the progress and trends of scientific issues, and the problems and opportunities of rising in the intersection of technology, people and society.” Perhaps more importantly, his team will recommend the company in its”scientific orientation and capacity, including standing up a new initiative to provide guidance on the company’s priorities and the assessment of important areas for investment in science and technology.”
In LinkedIn, Horvitz provide more context of what he will be doing the role, noting that his office will concentrate its efforts on the study of biological, medical Informatics, physics, sustainable development, economic, social and behavioral Sciences. He also said that he will put in a great effort for the AI principles, applications, and directions.
Although we have seen companies like Impossible Foods and chief scientific officer, they are rare among the more technology-focused company such as Microsoft. The appointment speaks to the growing importance of research to Microsoft, whether it relates to augmented reality, voice or any other number of areas.