Microsoft Academic to focus on using intelligent bots to make knowledge more searchable and accessible

Mark Coppock

Microsoft Academic is a site that focuses on providing researchers with access to the resources, including papers, conferences, people, and ideas they need to conduct their work. The site uses machine intelligence to sort through all of the information that’s out there on various topics and provide researchers with the most relevant information.

According to an MSDN blog post, Microsoft is expanding the use of intelligent bots that work behind the scenes to locate and present pertinent knowledge:

Designed by and for researchers like myself, the site puts the broadest and deepest set of scientific information at your fingertips, with the ability to go beyond keywords to the contextual meaning of the content. Recently, we further enhanced the analytic content so users can see the latest research, news, and people, ranked by importance and credibility. Users can even drill down on the people, events, and institutions they care most about.

Behind the scenes, we are taking advantage of the fact that machines do not require time to sleep or eat, and have superior memory to humans. We have trained our AI robots to read, classify, and tag every document published to the web in real time. The result is a massive collection of academic knowledge we call the Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG), which is growing at roughly 1 million articles per week. While one set of robots is busy gathering knowledge from the web, another set of robots is dedicated to analyzing citation behaviors and computing the relative importance of each node in the MAG so that users are always presented with information they need and want.

The company is building on the work done for Microsoft Cognitive Services, which includes APIs that can be used to tap into the AI-based semantic search tools that are also being used to augment Bing, Cortana, and other Microsoft services. The objective is to make vast amounts of information easily accessible and searchable over the Internet.

If you’re a researcher, or just interested in what Microsoft Academic, head on over to the site and check it out. Let us know in the comments if you find anything of value.