Business Analytics Lab Embarks on Collaborative Research with Microsoft Asia

Business Analytics Lab Embarks on Collaborative Research with Microsoft Asia
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October 2, 2014

Information Technology University’s Business Analytics Lab (BAL) is embarking on a collaborative research effort with Microsoft Asia. Aizaz Anwar, a student of ITU and a part of the BAL- who has been working under the guidance of Dr. Faisal Kamiran and the rest of the research lab- shall be expanding on his research project with Mr. Wei Chan, a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Asia.

Anwar is conducting research on the influence maximization of Polly, which is a speech-based service for people who cannot read or write. Polly is an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) based entertainment service which also connects people to employment opportunities and facilitates them in developing a comfort level with technology. Using a basic cell phone, any user could call a certain toll-free number, record a message and send it on to five friends with five different kinds of voice manipulations. There are different voices for the interest of people and this aided users in using and exploring IVR technology. Polly also gives its users the option to listen to jobs opportunities through their phones, and they could also share these with their friends.

This research collaboration intends to devise a software which will direct Polly’s limited capacity for receiving calls towards callers who are most active and most likely to disseminate information to the target audience. This will be done through data received from Carnegie Mellon University, which has played an instrumental role in creating Polly.

ITU looks forward to more of such synergistic collaborations with top research facilities.