The Microsoft Build conference held on May 7-9, 2018 included many artificial intelligence and machine learning announcements.
Here are some of the highlights that you should know about:
- Azure Machine Learning Packages for Vision, Text, and Forecasting in Public Preview – these Python pip-installable extensions for Azure Machine Learning simplify the common tasks of computer vision, text analytics, and forecasting.
- ML.NET – this cross-platform, proven, and open-source machine learning framework enables classification and regression tasks (with more to come) to empower machine learning in .NET.
- Project Brainwave – this deep-learning platform is an engine to enable real-time AI leveraging FPGAs on Azure.
- Cognitive Search – this powerful Azure Search with built-in Cognitive Services allows you to make sense of your data; the JFK files demo is a cool example.
- Microsoft and Qualcomm vision AI developer kit – this partnership allows you to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine with Azure Machine Learning and Azure IoT Edge; register here for early access.
- Updates to conversational AI and bots – this includes updates to the Azure Bot Service, Bot Builder SDK v4 Public Preview, general availability of QnAMaker, as well as the release of new experimental projects from Cognitive Services labs such as Project Gesture, Project Personality Chat and Project Conversation Learner.
- Updates to the Cognitive Services include support for object detection in Custom Vision, a unified Speech service, and Video Indexer updates.
- Windows ML – a hardware-accelerated inference engine (meaning it can evaluate trained machine learning models) that works across Windows 10 devices; the Contoso Shipping app and Office Word prototype both use Windows ML.
In addition, there were a wealth of great sessions on AI & ML. Check out the entire event online at https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2018/, and I’ve pulled out some of the AI/ML sessions below.
Overview Sessions from Executive Leadership
- Microsoft AI Overview for Developers
- The Microsoft AI Platform: a State of the Union
- AI @ Microsoft, How we do it and how you can too!
Microsoft Research and AI for Good
- AI for Earth: Analyzing Global Data with Azure
- You Can’t Start a Fire Without a Spark: AI for Accessibility
- How Microsoft AI Defeated Ms Pacman
General Machine Learning
- Introducing ML.NET
- What’s New with Azure Machine Learning
- Demopalooza: Get Started Infusing AI Into Your Applications Today
- Demystifying Machine and Deep Learning for Developers
Cognitive Services (using pretrained or customizable models for common artificial intelligence tasks)
- 10 Things Developers Need to Know about Building Intelligent Apps
- Notes from the Field on Customizing Your AI using Cognitive Services
- Computer Vision Made Easy: Consume or Build Your Own State-of-the-Art Models and Use Them Everywhere (this focuses on the Custom Vision service)
- Build Intelligent Applications by Infusing Knowledge from the Web
- Cognitive Search: Announcing the smartest enterprise search engine, now with cognitive skills!
- Speech Services
Conversational AI and Bots
- Conversational AI: What’s New?
- Conversational AI: Best Practices for Building Bots
- Bot Intelligence, Speech Capabilities, and NLU Best Practices
- What’s New with Cortana and the Skills Kit
Deploying and Scaling Machine Learning
- Hyperscale hardware: ML at scale on top of Azure + FPGA (this is the Project Brainwave work!)
- Deep Learning at Scale in Azure
- DevOps for AI: Deploying Everywhere
- AI + IoT: Building, Deploying, and Managing Your Custom AI on the Edge
- Windows AI Platform and the Intelligent Edge
If you are doing geospatial work, you might also be interested in What are Customers Building with New Bing Maps Capabilities? and/or the Azure Maps announcement, as well as our session covering the land cover mapping APIs.