Microsoft wins first ever ‘Patents for Humanity Award’ thanks to humanitarian research

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Microsoft has announced that the company has won the first ever ‘Patents for Humanity Award’ from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, thanks to the company’s research and development of the Infer.NET framework.

For those that dont know, Infer.NET is a framework for running Bayesian inference in graphical models and can also be used for probabilistic programming to solve many different kinds of machine learning problems.

“The power of Infer.NET is that it can accelerate our understanding of complex problems, such as those commonly found in health, biology and the environment, and allows Microsoft Research and scientists across the world to advance towards solutions even faster,” Microsoft stated in an official blog post.

Microsoft provided the example of investigating early indicators and recognizing environmental and genetic causes of severe asthma in children. Infer.NET also helps shed light on how variations in our genetic makeup can make us susceptible to different diseases.

Microsoft currently offers Infer.NET for free and hopes to continue working with scientists and researchers to further develop this technology to solve important real-life problems and improve our understanding for the world.