Research Intern – Speaking the World into Existence

at Microsoft
Published February 3, 2023
Location Berkeley, United States of America
Category Machine Learning  
Job Type Internship  


Research Internships at Microsoft provide a dynamic environment for research careers with a network of world-class research labs led by globally-recognized scientists and engineers. Our researchers and engineers pursue innovation in a range of scientific and technical disciplines to help solve complex challenges in diverse fields, including computing, healthcare, economics, and the environment.

The Speaking the world into existence research effort aims to apply the recent progress in large language models to prompt-based creation of interactive 3d scenes. Integrating Large Language Models with a game engine should enable not only faster development of 3d content, especially for Virtual Reality applications, but also allow for spontaneous user-generated content in the course of a VR experience, which has been imagined as a core element of VR from its inception. Beyond application in gaming and building a compelling metaverse, easier creation of 3d worlds and simulations by non-coding users also opens applications to education, allowing teachers to create immersive VR lessons in a short time (unrealistic with current tools, as it would take weeks to months for a short experience). The ability to customize or create simulations with simple prompting will also enable rapidly creating interactive training scenarios, for example for emergency first responders (imagine a group of first responders spinning up a simulation in the 30 minutes it takes them to arrive at the location of a disaster so that they can be prepared for the potential difficulties at the location). Some other potential customers of this technology could be mental health professionals (creation of simulations to face phobias, or creating environments that adapt to the user and help them relax), and other industry applications in which creating visualizations on the go is desired.


Interns put inquiry and theory into practice. Alongside fellow doctoral candidates and some of the world’s best researchers, interns learn, collaborate, and network for life. Interns not only advance their own careers, but they also contribute to exciting research and development strides. During the 12-week internship, students are paired with mentors and expected to collaborate with other interns and researchers, present findings, and contribute to the vibrant life of the community. Research internships are available in all areas of research, and are offered year-round, though they typically begin in the summer.

For this internship (summer 2023), our group is seeking PhD students with a similar passion for research on applications of the newest generative AI models from OpenAI to creative domains, with particular interest in VR and gaming. Intern responsibilities will include (1) helping to develop a research platform integrating multiple large models withing a game engine, (2) building compelling scenarios exploring the various potential uses of this new technology.


Required Qualifications

In addition to the qualifications below, you’ll need to submit a minimum of two reference letters for this position. After you submit your application, a request for letters may be sent to your list of references on your behalf. Note that reference letters cannot be requested until after you have submitted your application, and furthermore, that they might not be automatically requested for all candidates. You may wish to alert your letter writers in advance, so they will be ready to submit your letter.

  • Must be currently enrolled in a PhD program in Computer Science or a related STEM field.
  • Must have at least two years of PhD experience, including peer-reviewed publications, researching a topic closely related to the above description, such as AI systems for mixed reality, natural language processing, deep learning, generative models, mixed and virtual reality, multimodal interaction, etc.
  • At least one year of experience in building applications with the help of game engines, particularly Unity.

Interns are expected to be physically located in their manager’s Microsoft worksite location for the duration of their internship.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated ability to develop original research agendas.
  • Must be able to collaborate effectively with other researchers and product development teams.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, cross-group, and cross-culture collaboration.
  • Ability to think unconventionally to derive creative and innovative solutions.
  • Experience in applying multimodal machine learning in a real interactive system.
  • Experience programming multimodal systems that interact with users, particularly by integrating multiple machine-learned components such as computer vision, speech recognition, dialogue handling, natural language generation, etc.

The base pay range for this internship is USD $6,290 - $12,170 per month. There is a different range applicable to specific work locations, within the San Francisco Bay area and New York City metropolitan area, and the base pay range for this role in those locations is USD $8,060 - $13,240 per month.

Benefits/perks listed here may vary depending on the nature of employment with Microsoft and the country work location. U.S.-based PhD, University, and Explore interns have access to medical and vision insurance, paid sick time (salaried interns accrue at 3.34 hours per pay period worked; hourly interns accrue at .03846 hour per hour worked), paid federal holidays, and software discounts. Puget Sound-based PhD, University, and Explore interns gain access to a bus pass and a fitness club membership. Discovery interns are not eligible for healthcare benefits or a fitness club membership, but they have access to paid sick time (accrued at .03846 hour per hour worked), paid federal holidays, software discounts, and a bus pass.

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We are committed to the principle of pay equity – paying employees equitably for substantially similar work. To learn more about pay equity and our other commitments to increase representation and strengthen our culture of inclusion, check out our annual Diversity & Inclusion Report. ( )

Understanding Roles at Microsoft​
The top of this page displays the role for which the base pay ranges apply – Applied Sciences IC3.
The way we define roles includes two things: discipline (the type of work) and career stage (scope and complexity). The career stage has two parts – the first identifies whether the role is a manager (M), an individual contributor (IC), an admin-technician-retail (ATR) job, or an intern. The second part identifies the relative seniority of the role – a higher number (or later letter alphabetically in the case of ATR) indicates greater scope and complexity.

Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances.  We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via the Accommodation request form.

Benefits/perks listed below may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Microsoft and the country where you work.

Benefits and Perks

  • Industry leading healthcare
  • Giving programs
  • Opportunities to network and connect
  • Discounts on products and services