Month Note June
At Microsoft this is one of the busiest times of year. Our year ends in June and so now is the time for last minute efforts to achieve whatever you set out in your commitments.
Commitments are what you agree with your manager you are going to do throughout the course of the year, we revisit them every quarter in meetings called connects.
Usually I would be flat out trying to deliver a number I agreed to or an outcome I said I would. Luckily this year everything for me is ether Green (completed) or on track. So I have been agreeing to more more talks and some other activity to help out others in other groups that are red (Not completed).
Most of my objectives this year year around building software with partners and in particular Bots. Over the past Year I've worked with Sage, AXA, Beezy, Patient.Info, Plexus Law, Midland HR and Shrewsbury Museum to develop either bots or mobile apps that use cognitive services or machine learning.
I'm becoming a little bit obsessed with Speech. Particularly custom speech models. Practically all of the projects I have worked on recently use speech input to some degree, and today making it work well is really hard.
At the moment most of my expertise is working with preexisting models and services, I think an avenue for me to learn is to start looking more deeply at how to build these services from scratch.
In 10 years I suspect speech will be the major way we interact with our devices. Speech will by the OS of the future.
Speech today is a bit like touch screens were in 2004, before the iPhone: Fiddly and sort of working but frustrating to use.
I strongly believe we are just a few years away from a breakthrough. A ground breaking shift away from devices and touch into augmentation and natural interaction.