Microsoft Injects More AI Developer Tools Into Its Cognitive Service Suite

The Redmond company is continuing to delve into artificial intelligence

Microsoft looks to be doubling-down on its efforts with artificial intelligence (AI) technology with a fresh batch of tools for developers to tap into smart algorithms and software.

These tools will be based around the Redmond company’s work on speech recognition, automatic data filtering through various content, and speech functionality for the Bing search engine.

Microsoft pursues AI

cortana-in-the-carFirst out of the blocks is the Custom Speech Service, which as the name suggests is speech recognition technology that can be used by developers to create AI based software that can pick up and recognise speech in noisy environments, and come with spoken jargon, dialects and accents.

The Content Moderator enables developers to quarantine and review data in their software and use it to filter out offensive and unwanted material form datasets that include video, images, text and spreadsheets.

The Bing Speech API (application programming interface) can be used to easily convert spoken audio into text, as well as understand the intent in which queries and sentences are spoken.

The former tool has been released today, which the other two will follow suite in March. The services will join with those offered as part of the Microsoft Cognitive Service, a collection of 25 tools which developers can tap into to add AI-based features into their applications.

“Cognitive Services is about taking all of the machine learning and AI smarts that we have in this company and exposing them to developers through easy-to-use APIs, so that they don’t have to invent the technology themselves,” said Mike Seltzer, a principal researcher in the speech and dialog research group at Microsoft’s Redmond research lab.

AI is very much part of Microsoft’s future, with chief executive Satya Nadella noting it is a core part of delivering digital transformation alongside the adoption of cloud services.

At the same time Redmond is committed to making sure the development of AI technology is done in a way whereby it brings about change in a responsible fashion rather than massively disrupt established business models.

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