Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit Screenshot YouTube

Microsoft says that it is bringing three of its Cognitive Services tools to developers. This will allow them to tap into the platform to create customer speech solutions. The company confirmed the roll out in a blog announcement. Microsoft says the Cognitive Services platform is a part of the democratization of artificial intelligence.

At the moment, developers have to create their own voice recognition services. With Cognitive Services, it will be easier to develop solutions.

Microsoft Cognitive Services is a machine learning platform that currently runs on Microsoft services such as Skype Translator, Bing, and Cortana. The platform allows those services to translate, understand speech, make searches, and perform tasks.

Third party applications have started adopting Microsoft Cognitive Service, so it makes sense for the APIs to be released to developers. There are currently 25 tolls within the suite, but Microsoft will only release three of these tools to developers. These tools will be Custom Speech Service, Content Moderator, and Bing Speech.

With these tools, developers will be able to add voice features to their applications. For example, apps will be able to detect emotion sentiment and recognize speech. Language understanding capabilities will also be available to developers. Moreover, Microsoft says dev’s do not need machine learning experience to implement the tools.

“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,” says Mike Seltzer, a principal researcher in the Speech and Dialog Research Group at Microsoft’s research lab in Redmond, Washington.

“In most cases, it takes a ton of time, a ton of data, a ton of expertise, and a ton of compute to build a state-of-the-art machine-learned model,” he explains.

Cognitive Services Developer Tools

Custom Speech Service – Seltzer says that Microsoft has worked for over a decade to develop sufficient algorithms. Thanks to this research, the company has technology to function in noisy environments. Understanding dialects and accents is also part of the repertoire. Custom Speech Service is already available to developers starting today.

Content Moderator and Bing Speech API – Microsoft says these two tools will become generally available next month. The Bing Speech API will allow apps to convert audio into text. It can also understand speech intent and convert text into speech. Content Moderator gives dev’s the ability to place data like images, text or video into quarantine. With this tool, apps can filter unwanted material, such as offensive content.