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As Microsoft continues to be a cloud-first company, Azure and other cloud services dominated day one of Build 2021. Perhaps the biggest news involves Azure AI and the creation of a new categories within the division. Specifically, new Azure Applied AI Services that are launching with three new components.

The Azure Applied AI Services are Azure Video Analyzer, Azure Metrics Advisor, Azure Bot Service, Azure Cognitive Search, Azure Form Recognizer and Azure Immersive Reader. Microsoft says the tools help organizations accelerate the creation of AI models that target specific scenarios:

  • “With Azure Bot Service, developers can create sophisticated bots using a new integrated development experience. Azure Bot Service now offers a visual authoring canvas with extensible open-source tools, enabling developers to add speech and telephony capabilities and to test, debug and publish bots to multiple channels with minimal code changes.
  • Azure Metrics Advisor is now generally available. The service ingests time-series data, using machine learning to automatically find anomalies from sensors, products and business metrics, and provide diagnostics insights. Using Metrics Advisor, customers can monitor the performance of their organization’s growth engines, from sales to manufacturing operations.
  • Azure Video Analyzer, in preview, brings Live Video Analytics and Video Indexer into a single service. This combination of existing services helps developers quickly build AI-powered video analytics from both stored and streaming videos. This can be used for workplace safety, in-store experiences, digital asset management, content monetization and more.”

Details

Microsoft builds the Applied AI Services on existing Azure AI models. For example, Azure Cognitive Services, which uses AI to extract meaning from text and adds speech to apps. Eric Boyd, corporate vice president of Microsoft Azure AI, says customers can use the services to build AI solutions easily:

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“The goal with Azure Applied AI Services is to provide a bit more packaging and structure to really accelerate the development of AI solutions for common business processes,” he said. 

It is possible to customize AI services and build upon them with existing models within an organization, provided it is part of Azure Machine Learning.

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