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Former Microsoft Research Director Becomes Its First Chief Scientific Officer

Microsoft has named its first chief scientific officer: Eric Horvitz, who joined Microsoft in a research role in 1993 and was most recently in charge of Microsoft Research Labs.

Microsoft has recently been expanding beyond its software legacy -- where artificial intelligence is a natural fit -- to more physical areas of science, such as quantum computing, health care and the new corporate initiative to become carbon negative.

"The focus of the chief scientist position is to provide cross-company leadership on advances and trends related to scientific matters and on important issues and opportunities rising at the intersection of science, technology and society," Horvitz said in a post on LinkedIn this week.

"I'm looking forward to the chance to more deeply shape our company's activities, focus of attention, investments, and understandings of how today's efforts and near-term plans relate to trends -- and potential surprises -- on the horizon."

Horvitz said his office will focus on AI principles, applications and directions, as well as biology, medical informatics, physics, sustainability, economics, social sciences and behavioral sciences.

Peter Lee will take over the lab role in addition to his work as corporate vice president for Microsoft Healthcare, which may hint at more collaboration between Microsoft Research and the company's health care initiatives.

Posted by Scott Bekker on 03/11/2020 at 3:10 PM


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