Eric Horvitz, managing director of the company’s Redmond research lab, is honored for his work in artificial intelligence.

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Microsoft artificial intelligence guru Eric Horvitz has reeled in another award for his work making computers smarter.

Horvitz, managing director of Microsoft’s Redmond research lab, on Wednesday received the prestigious ACM – AAAI Allen Newell award for his work building tools that help computers better understand and react to human intent.

Horvitz, at Microsoft since 1993, is a well respected researcher in artificial intelligence, a field booming along with the recent availability of the virtually unlimited on-demand computing power and data storage that accompanies cloud computing.

Those advances, building off of work by Horvitz and others, has led to nascent services that scratch at the surface of machine intelligence, including Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana, Google’s Now, and a host of intelligent algorithms powering things like Web search and document discovery.

“There’s a huge opportunity ahead in building systems that work closely with people to help them to achieve their goals,” Horvitz said in a Microsoft blog post.

Horvitz believes future artificial intelligence systems will most likely be well managed, avoiding scenarios envisioned in fiction that have intelligent machines someday proving to be dangerous to their human masters.

“AI doomsday scenarios belong more in the realm of science fiction than science fact,” Horvitz said in a paper co-authored with fellow AI researcher Thomas Dietterich.

ACM is the Association for Computing Machinery. AAAI is the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, an organization for which Horvitz formerly served as president. Last year, Horvitz received AAAI’s Feigenbaum Prize.