In the bygones, it was hard to imagine an application that could perceive the speaker’s intentions or emotions from their voice alone, or describe images with sentences, letting the visually impaired people “see” the world. Let your imagination go wild as it is the perfect time to remember your favorite sci-fi movies because the future has arrived, and you can now easily implement all these, and many more “magical” features in your apps! This is all absolutely possible with the help of Microsoft Cognitive Services.


Microsoft Cognitive Services- Making AI an everyday reality

Microsoft Cognitive Services is a collection of Representational State Transfer (RESTful) intelligent application program interfaces (APIs) that allow systems to see, hear, speak, understand, and interpret people’s needs by using natural methods of communication. It enables developers to use these APIs to build more intelligent, engaging, and discoverable applications.


Whether you need to implement facial recognition in a proprietary access security application for one of your facilities or wish to use Azure Cognitive Services to add the functionality with just a few lines of code, you don’t need to create your own pattern recognition algorithms or build a special server to handle the workload— Cognitive Service takes care of it.


Microsoft Cognitive Services allows developers to easily add intelligent features—such as emotion and sentiment detection, facial identification, vision and speech recognition, knowledge, search, and language understanding—into their applications.


The Umbrellas of Microsoft Cognitive Services

A number or ready-made AI services are available under the Cognitive Services umbrella, some of which includes:


o Vision: Facial Recognition– Detect one or more human faces in an image and get back face rectangles for where in the image the faces are, along with face attributes which contain machine learning-based predictions of facial features.
o Search: Video API- Pull rich information from images to identify and process visual data – and machine-assisted moderation of images to help curate your services.
o Search: Bing Image Search API– Add a variety of image search options to your app or website, from trending images to detailed insights.
o Speech: Translator Speech API– Seamlessly add speech translation to your app, revamped for real-life conversation
o Language: Translator Text API– Easily conduct real-time text translation with a simple REST API call
o Knowledge: Recommendations Solution Template- Envision what your customers want and increase catalog discoverability


Microsoft Cognitive Services makes “Personalization and Customization” much simpler

Microsoft Cognitive Services enables developers to augment the next-gen applications with the ability to see, hear, speak, understand, and interpret needs using natural methods of communication. With the addition of Bing Custom Search, Custom Vision Service and Custom Decision Service on top of Custom Speech and Language Understanding Intelligent Service, Microsoft now has a broader set of custom AI APIs available, allowing customers to use their own data with algorithms that are customized for their specific needs. A few options include:


o Recommend items or information your customers want- Predict which items or information are more likely to be of customers’ interest to or bought by your customers while learning from their previous searches and transactions.
o Frequently bought together or frequently also searched for- Recommend items automatically on your page that are likely to be utilized or looked up together in the same transaction or context.
o Increase catalog’s discoverability– Quickly learn from the click patterns to speed up your product catalog’s discoverability and subsequently, boost sales.
o Personalized recommendations- Make use of the purchase history of a particular customer to provide recommendations unique to that customer and personalize their overall experience. Analyze the search patterns of all users over time to personalize recommendations based on trends, geographical location, time period, context, clusters or subject area.


Final Thoughts

It is interesting to see the evolution of AI and how it has continued to mature with the explosion of data. Can a computer think like a human brain? Some say never, while others say we already are in this era. Nevertheless, we’re have reached the point where the machines have the ability to see, understand and interact with the world. Microsoft Cognitive Services has made AI a more natural and integrated part of our day to day life.


Sr. Technical Consultant