Between Cortana and chatbots, it’s clear Microsoft wants to create smarter interactions between people and their technology. However, the company has never proclaimed its plans to get into full blown artificial intelligence – that is until now.
At its annual Microsoft Build developer conference, the Redmond-based company announced its plans to infuse AI into every product and service it offers including Xbox, Windows, Bing and Office to name a few. The software maker demonstrated how AI can help users present a PowerPoint with real-time translations with its translation API.
In another demonstration, Microsoft combined its AI with a cognitive vision service so players could manipulate a slingshot with a real-sense camera tracking the position of their hands. That might sound an awful lot like Kinect, but the idea here is to build an interactive experience on top of hardware already built into computers.
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That’s not the only cognitive service offers, Microsoft announced it has tallied up a total of 29. A few of its latest AI services include Bing Custom Search, Custom Vision Service, Custom Decision Service and a Video Indexer.
As the name might suggest Microsoft Cognitive Services allow programs to look for and analyze data whether it be visual, audio or written.
With this level of machine learning developers can build apps that recognize gestures, translate text in multiple languages, deconstruct video for quicker search, editing and real-time captioning, and even customize data to recognize images to categorize them.
A multi-faceted backbone
Of course the benefits of Microsoft AI is only half the picture. To create this intelligent network, Microsoft is leveraging the power of its cloud computing Azure platform. At the same time Microsoft Graph collates business and user data – with their consent – to drive AI development.
For the time being, AI development is only be accessible to developers with access to a private preview of Azure Batch AI Training. Likewise, it will probably be sometime before we see Microsoft AI integration beyond business and enterprise applications. However, we can’t wait to see how AI will affect consumer experiences like Windows 10 and Xbox.
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Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.