Category Archives : Cognitive Services



Full-integrated experience simplifying Language Understanding in conversational AI systems

Creating an advanced conversational system is now a simple task with the powerful tools integrated into Microsoft’s Language Understanding Service (LUIS) and Bot Framework. LUIS brings together cutting-edge speech, machine translation, and text analytics on the most enterprise-ready platform for creation of conversational systems. In addition to these features, LUIS is currently GDPR, HIPPA, and ISO compliant enabling it to deliver exceptional service across global markets.

Talk or text?

Bots and conversational AI systems are quickly becoming a ubiquitous technology enabling natural interactions with users. Speech remains one of the most widely used input forms that come natural when thinking of conversational systems. This requires the integration of speech recognition within the Language Understanding in conversational systems. Individually, speech recognition and language understanding are amongst the most difficult problems in cognitive computing. Introducing the context of Language Understanding improves the quality of speech recognition. Through intent-based speech priming, the context of an utterances is interpreted using the language model to cross-fertilize the performance of both speech recognition and language understanding. Intent based speech recognition priming uses the utterances and entity tags in your LUIS models to improve accuracy and relevance while converting audio to text. Incorrectly recognized spoken phrases or



Announcing Cognitive Search: Azure Search + cognitive capabilities

Today we are announcing Cognitive Search, an AI-first approach to content understanding. Cognitive Search is powered by Azure Search with built-in Cognitive Services. It pulls data from a variety of Azure data sources and applies a set of composable cognitive skills which extract knowledge. This knowledge is then organized and stored in a search index enabling new experiences for exploring the data.

Finding latent knowledge in all data

Real-world data is messy. It often spans media types (e.g. text documents, PDF files, images, databases), changes constantly, and carries valuable knowledge in ways that is not readily usable. In our team we see the same challenges that emerge from this on a daily basis: our customers apply information retrieval solutions, such as Azure Search- combined with AI models, either pre-built models such as Cognitive Services or custom ones, to extract latent knowledge in their vast data stores.

The typical solution pattern for this is a data ingestion, enrichment and exploration model.  Each of these brings its own challenges to the table—from large scale change tracking to file format support, and even composition of multiple AI models. Developers can do this today, but it takes a huge amount of effort, requires branching



Microsoft empowers developers with new and updated Cognitive Services

The blog post was authored by Andy Hickl, Principal Group Program Manager, Microsoft Cognitive Services.​

Today at the Build 2018 conference, we are unveiling several exciting new innovations for Microsoft Cognitive Services on Azure.

At Microsoft, we believe any developer should be able to integrate the best AI has to offer into their apps and services. That’s why we started Microsoft Cognitive Services three years ago – and why we continue to invest in AI services on Azure today.

Microsoft Cognitive Services make it easy for developers to easily add high-quality vision, speech, language, knowledge and search technologies in their apps — with only a few lines of code. Cognitive Services make it possible for anyone to create intelligent apps, including ones that can talk to users naturally, identify relevant content in images, and confirm someone’s identity using their voice or appearance.

At Build this year with Cognitive Services, we’re offering even more services and more innovation with announcements such as a unified Speech service and Bing Visual Search, as well as the expansion of our Cognitive Services Labs of emerging technologies. We’re also empowering developers to customize the pre-built AI offered by Cognitive Services, with customized object detection, added



Microsoft Conversational AI tools enable developers to build, connect and manage intelligent bots

Conversational AI is the next user interface (UI) wave in computing. We’ve evolved from a world of having to learn and adapt to computers to one where they’re learning how to understand and interact with us. Natural interactions with computers start with language, speech, and semantic understanding, and continues through supporting rich multi model interactions.

Today at the Build conference, we are announcing major updates related to our Conversational AI tools including updates to Aure Bot Service, Microsoft Cognitive Services Language Understanding, and QnAMaker, as well as the release of new experimental projects from the Cognitive Services Labs including Conversation Learner and Personality Chat. This blog post provides a brief recap of all Conversational AI announcements from Build and takes a quick dive into some of our newly updated services.

With Microsoft’s Conversational AI tools developers can build, connect, deploy, and manage intelligent bots that naturally interact with their users on a website, app, Cortana, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Slack, and more. It’s quick, free, and easy to get started with the Microsoft Bot Builder software development kit (SDK) and its related tools, for a complete bot building experience. Building intelligent bot requires stitching together several components. Developers can



Offline media import for Azure

So many customers I talk to want to upload their offline data stores into the cloud. Yet, no one wants to spend hours and hours inserting tapes, connecting older hard disks, or figuring out how to digitize and upload film. Well, I’m excited to announce that together with our partners Microsoft Azure is making it easy with our Offline Media Important Program. This partner-enabled service makes it easy to move data into Azure from almost any media, such as tapes, optical drives, hard disks, or film. 

Why migrate your current storage media to Azure? Azure provides a range of flexible storage options from low-cost, archive storage to high-performance, SSD-based storage. You simply choose the storage tier and we take care of the rest. And once the data is available in Azure, higher-value scenarios around analysis, transformation, and distribution can be unlocked. Here are some of the common uses:

Media and entertainment

Offline media import is a great way for entertainment companies to modernize their content assets and take advantage of an array of cloud services such as cognitive services and media analytics. I’m actually at NAB this week talking to media companies about how this program can transform production workflows



From Microsoft Azure to everyone attending NAB Show 2018 β€” Welcome!

This blog post was authored by Tad Brockway, General Manager, Azure Storage and Azure Stack.

NAB Show is one of my favorites. The creativity, technology, content and storytelling are epic, as is the digital transformation well underway.

This transformation — driven by new businesses models, shifting consumption patterns and technology advancements — will change this great industry. What won’t change is the focus on creators and connecting their content with consumers around the world so they, too, can be a part of the story.

Microsoft’s mission is to “empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” We are committed to helping everyone in the industry — customers like Endemol Shine, UFA, Jellyfish and Reuters — do just that. With innovations across cloud storage, compute, CDN, Media Services and new investments in Avere Systems and Cycle Cloud, Microsoft Azure is ready to help modernize your media workflows and your business.

How? Well, queue scene…

Your productions are increasingly global and demanding. Azure can help.

Creators, media artists and innovators want to work together in a flexible, secure and collaborative way from wherever they are. More datacenters, in more regions of the world, than all competitors combined means



New machine-assisted text classification on Content Moderator now in public preview

This blog post is co-authored by Ashish Jhanwar, Data Scientist, Microsoft

Content Moderator is part of Microsoft Cognitive Services allowing businesses to use machine assisted moderation of text, images, and videos that augment human review.

The text moderation capability now includes a new machine-learning based text classification feature which uses a trained model to identify possible abusive, derogatory or discriminatory language such as slang, abbreviated words, offensive, and intentionally misspelled words for review.

In contrast to the existing text moderation service that flags profanity terms, the text classification feature helps detect potentially undesired content that may be deemed as inappropriate depending on context. In addition, to convey the likelihood of each category it may recommend a human review of the content.

The text classification feature is in preview and supports the English language.

How to use

Content Moderator consists of a set of REST APIs. The text moderation API adds an additional request parameter in the form of classify=True. If you specify the parameter as true, and the auto-detected language of your input text is English, the API will output the additional classification insights as shown in the following sections.

If you specify the language as English for non-English text,



Azure cloud data and AI services training roundup

Looking to transform your business by improving your on-premises environments? Accelerating your move to the cloud, and gaining transformative insights from your data? Here’s your opportunity to learn from the experts and ask the questions that help your organization move forward.

Join us for one or all of these training sessions to take a deep dive into a variety of topics. Including products like Azure Cosmos DB, along with Microsoft innovations in artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, and big data. 

Azure Cosmos DB

Engineering experts are leading a seven-part training series on Azure Cosmos DB, complete with interactive Q&As. In addition to a high-level technical deep dive, this series covers a wide array of topics, including:

Graph API Table API Building Mongo DB apps

By the end of this series, you’ll be able to build serverless applications and conduct real-time analytics using Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Functions, and Spark. Register to attend the whole Azure Cosmos DB series, or register for the sessions that interest you.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Learn to create the next generation of applications spanning an intelligent cloud as well as an intelligent edge powered by AI. Microsoft offers a comprehensive set of flexible AI services for any



Announcing new milestones for Microsoft Cognitive Services vision and search services in Azure

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as one of the most disruptive forces behind the digital transformation of business. At Microsoft, we believe everyone—developers, data scientists and enterprises—should have access to the benefits of AI to augment human ingenuity in unique and differentiated ways. We’ve been conducting research in AI for more than two decades and infusing it into our products and services. Now we’re bringing it to everyone through simple, yet powerful tools. One of those tools is Microsoft Cognitive Services, a collection of cloud-hosted APIs that let developers easily add AI capabilities for vision, speech, language, knowledge and search into applications, across devices and platforms such as iOS, Android and Windows.

To date more than a million developers have already discovered and tried our Cognitive Services, and many new customers are harnessing the power of AI, such as major auto insurance provider Progressive best known for Flo, its iconic spokesperson. The company wanted to take advantage of customers’ increasing use of mobile channels to interact with its brand. Progressive used Microsoft Azure Bot Service and Cognitive Services to quickly and easily build the Flo Chatbot—currently available on Facebook Messenger—which answers customer questions, provides quotes and even offers a bit



Microsoft updates Cognitive Services terms
Microsoft updates Cognitive Services terms

This post was authored by the Microsoft Cognitive Services Team.

We understand that the commitments we make about data are essential for any organization. To give customers more control, we’ve updated our Cognitive Services terms for customer data. Here’s what this means for our customers.

On February 1, we started moving Cognitive Services under the same terms as other Azure services. Under the new terms, Cognitive Services customers own, and can manage and delete their customer data. With this change, many Cognitive Services are now aligned with the same terms that apply to other Azure services.

Terms for Computer Vision, Face, Content Moderator, Text Analytics, and Speech services have already changed, with updates coming to Language Understanding on March 1 and Microsoft Translator on May 1. As new products are added to Cognitive Services, they will align with the same standards as other Azure services, with the exception of Bing Search Services.

Bing Search Services data will continue to be treated differently than other customer data. For example, we use search queries that you provide to Bing Search Services to improve our search algorithms over time.

We are making these updates because we strive to be transparent in our privacy