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Microsoft smartens up Azure Cognitive Services

Microsoft is introducing new artificial intelligence capabilities for developers on the company’s Azure cloud platform. An enhancement to Azure Cognitive Services, called “Decision,” provides user-specific recommendations for better decision-making.

Azure Cognitive Services is a collection of APIs to intelligent algorithms that developers can tap to perform image recognition, speech recognition, natural language processing, anomaly detection, and other intelligent tasks. Decision adds a service called Personalizer, which leverages reinforcement learning to offer users specific recommendations to assist with decisions.

Azure Search also gaining AI capabilities, via a cognitive search capability that uses Cognitive Services algorithms to extract insights from structured and unstructured content. In addition, Microsoft is previewing a capability that allows developers to store AI insights gained from cognitive search.

In other developments pertaining to AI capabilities on Azure:

  • Azure Machine Learning improvements intended to simplify building and deploying machine learning models, including MLOps capabilities with Azure DevOps integration. This provides developers with automation of the machine learning lifecycle.
  • Automated ML advancements and a UI to develop models.
  • A visual machine learning interface with no-code model creation and deployment with drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Hardware-accelerated models for low-latency inferencing on FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays).
  • Support for the ONNX Runtime on the Nvidia TensorRT deep learning inference platform and on the Intel nGraph deep learning compiler. This support will provide high-speed inferencing on Nvidia and Intel chipsets.

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