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Every day in the ever-changing technology landscape, we see boundaries shift as new ideas challenge the old status quo. This constant shift is observed in the increasingly sophisticated and connected tools, products, and services people and organizations use on a daily basis, but also in the security that needs to be built into these technologies to protect them against adversaries intent on abusing the same technologies for nefarious purposes.

At Microsoft, we are committed to harnessing the immense potential of AI to help solve many of our technology concerns today. We believe that working on the “bleeding edge” offers one of the best ways to serve our customers and the broader ecosystem, and AI is key to advancing our understanding and technical capabilities in many complex areas of cybersecurity.

We also value working with the community of experts, researchers, and data scientists in solving diverse technology and security challenges and building robust defenses against current and future security threat scenarios. We have always championed and supported new research on using technology in the most secure way possible, and we’ve had great success in collaborating with universities and sponsoring academic research.

In April 2021, with the goal of supporting the academic exploration of new knowledge and capabilities to benefit the broader community, we called for proposals for academic AI research on the threat of phishing and approaches for defending against it. The scope of this request for proposals (RFP) included expanding existing understanding of the communication graph, email and web content, the economics of phishing, and generating innovation for protecting organizations in the face of increasingly sophisticated attacks while providing fairness and privacy guarantees.

Today, it’s with great pleasure that we announce the winners of the Microsoft Security AI RFP: