Category Archives : Cognitive Services

02

Jul

Azure Search – Announcing the general availability of synonyms

Today we are announcing the general availability of synonyms. Synonyms allow Azure Search to associate equivalent terms that implicitly expand the scope of a query, without the user having to provide the alternate terms.

A good example of this capability was demonstrated at the recent Microsoft Build conference, where we showed how NBA.com searches their vast photo library of players, owners, and celebrities. In this application Azure Search synonyms are used to enable nicknames of Lebron James such as “The King” or “King James” to be returned regardless of which of the three terms are used in the query.

In Azure Search, synonym support is based on synonym maps that you define and upload to your search service. These maps constitute an independent resource, such as indexes or data sources, and can be used by any searchable field in any index in your search service. Synonym maps use the Apache Solr format as outlined in the example synonym map below:

POST https://[servicename].search.windows.net/synonymmaps?api-version=2017-11-11 api-key: [admin key] { “name”:”mysynonymmap”, “format”:”solr”, “synonyms”: ” USA, United States, United States of American Washington, Wash., WA => WAn” }

In the above example, you can see there are two types of synonyms that are

28

Jun

Get video insights in (even) more languages!

For those of you who might not have tried it yet, Video Indexer is a cloud application and platform built upon media AI technologies to make it easier to extract insights from video and audio files. As a starting point for extracting the textual part of the insights, the solution creates a transcript based on the speech appearing in the file; this process is referred to as Speech-to-text. Today, Video Indexer’s Speech-to-text supports ten different languages. Supported languages include English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese (Simplified), Portuguese (Brazilian), Japanese, Arabic, and Russian.

However, if the content you need is not in one of the above languages, fear not! Video Indexer partners with other transcription service providers to extend its speech-to-text capabilities to many more languages. One of those partnerships is with Zoom Media, which extended the Speech-to-text to Dutch, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.

A great example for using Video Indexer and Zoom Media is the Dutch public broadcaster AVROTROS; who uses Video Indexer to analyze videos and allow editors to search through them. Finus Tromp, Head of Interactive Media in AVROTROS shared, “We use Microsoft Video Indexer on a daily basis to supply our videos with relevant metadata. The gathered

13

Jun

Bing Visual Search and Entity Search APIs for video apps

In this blog, I will go over how you can use the Bing Visual Search API, in combination with Bing Entity Search API to build an enhanced viewing experience in your video app.

General availability of Bing Visual Search API was announced at Build 2018, in this blog. Bing Visual Search API enables you to use an image as a query to get information about what entities are in the image, along with a list of visually similar images from the image index built by Bing. GA of Bing Entity Search was announced in this blog, published on March 1st, 2018. Bing Entity Search API enables you to brings rich contextual information about people, places, things, and local businesses to any application, blog, or website for a more engaging user experience.

By combining the power of these two APIs, you can build a more engaging experience in your video app, by following the steps listed below

Write a JavaScript function that triggers when the user clicks the pause button in your video app. In this JavaScript function, grab the paused video frame as an image. Take a look at this discussion to learn more about how to do this. Pass the

13

Jun

Bing Visual Search and Entity Search APIs for video apps

In this blog, I will go over how you can use the Bing Visual Search API, in combination with Bing Entity Search API to build an enhanced viewing experience in your video app.

General availability of Bing Visual Search API was announced at Build 2018, in this blog. Bing Visual Search API enables you to use an image as a query to get information about what entities are in the image, along with a list of visually similar images from the image index built by Bing. GA of Bing Entity Search was announced in this blog, published on March 1st, 2018. Bing Entity Search API enables you to brings rich contextual information about people, places, things, and local businesses to any application, blog, or website for a more engaging user experience.

By combining the power of these two APIs, you can build a more engaging experience in your video app, by following the steps listed below

Write a JavaScript function that triggers when the user clicks the pause button in your video app. In this JavaScript function, grab the paused video frame as an image. Take a look at this discussion to learn more about how to do this. Pass the

04

Jun

Speech services now in preview
Speech services now in preview

This blog post was authored by the Microsoft Speech Services team​.

At Microsoft Build 2018, the Microsoft Speech Services team announced the following new and improved products and services.

Speech service as a preview, including Speech to Text with custom speech, Text to Speech with custom voice, and Speech Translation. Speech SDK as a preview, which will replace the old Bing Speech APIs when generally available in fall 2018. It will be the single SDK for most of our speech services, and will require only one Azure subscription key for speech recognition and LUIS (language understanding service). With simplified APIs, Speech SDK makes it easy for new and experienced speech developers. Speech Devices SDK, as a restricted preview, has advanced multi-microphone array audio processing algorithm that’s fine-tuned to the backend Speech Services, and works great on the Roobo’s dev kits for exceptional speech experiences, and the ability to customize the wake word to strengthen your brand.

To learn more, please read the ZDNet article highlighting these products and services.

We also demonstrated our Speech Recognition capabilities in the Satya Nadella’s vision keynote at Microsoft Build 2018. You can skip to the 1:22:40 mark if you want to jump to

10

May

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

07

May

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

07

May

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

07

May

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

10

Apr

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