What are Azure Cognitive Services? - Smashers Hub

Microsoft released Azure Cognitive Services to enhance the overall machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities of its customers' apps and solutions on the Azure cloud platform.

Azure Cognitive Services nowadays offers eight different services that can be used individually or in any combination with each other depending on your business needs. 

This blog explores five out of these eight cognitive services in detail, thereby providing you with an overview of the top 5 cognitive services of Microsoft Azure. Let's get started!…

What is Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services?

Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services is a collection of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) services. 

The services provide data analysis and computing capabilities through Bing, Cortana, Microsoft Translator, etc., enabling developers to create intelligent apps and products for their customers.

Microsoft's vision to empower everyone on earth to achieve more with cloud technologies has become a top leader in AI-powered technology platforms. 

In simple words, Microsoft Azure is an American public cloud computing service created by Microsoft. It delivers software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) hosted in data centres.

List of Cognitive Services

  • Computer Vision
  • Speech
  • Text Analytics
  • Language Understanding
  • Recommendations
  • Emotion

Here is a quick overview of what Azure Cognitive Services does.

Computer Vision Cognitive Services

  • This service provides your applications with tools to understand images at different levels of abstraction. Create a model in one of these categories: face detection, facial landmark detection, text recognition, or license plate recognition.
  • These models learn from training data and apply those learnings to an image in real-time to make inferences about that image's content.

Speech Cognitive Services

  • Speech capabilities are available through Azure, allowing computers to interact naturally with people. Speech Cognitive Services consists of APIs that cover tasks such as language understanding, speech recognition, and text-to-speech generation. 
  • By using these services together, you can develop applications to speak naturally to their computer and naturally get results. Speech is one of three major areas covered by cognitive services and vision and knowledge.

Text Analytics Cognitive Services

  • This service extracts text from any document format, including scanned pages and PDFs. The output of Text Analytics can be delivered in various forms, including HTML and MS Word. 
  • This service would also perform sentiment analysis to understand your content is positive or negative and identify topics from your content. If you are looking for structured data from unstructured text, Text Analytics can help you with it.

Language Understanding Cognitive Services

  • Microsoft's Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) can be used to easily and quickly build a voice application. Users will input verbal commands into their applications and identify specific services, people, places, or things by simply speaking them. LUIS is currently available in 10 languages.
  • It also allows users to make their custom language model and adjust phrases in ways that make sense for them or their business using Visual Studio. To get started with LUIS, you can sign up for a free trial on Microsoft's website or test it through your browser with a local dev instance of LUIS.

Recommendations Cognitive Services

Recommendations API is one of the most used features in a company. It suggests customers purchase products that go with others they like and helps them find other new products.

It helps companies get more sales and therefore increase their profits. Apart from these, various examples can be used to implement Recommendations API in an application.

Some of these examples include:

  1. Any store uses Recommendations API to create personalized recommendations for users based on their history.
  2. Another example could be that when users visit a website, they see recommended related products instead of ads.
  3. If you want users to see your website only because they need a product or service and not because of ads, recommendations API can help you achieve your goals.

Emotion Cognitive Services

Emotion allows your applications to analyze human emotions. The Cloud-based Emotion API is a deep learning model trained on over 100 million images and can understand a variety of emotions in faces. There are three ways to get started with Emotion:

  • You can send it a picture.
  • You can use our prediction REST API.
  • You can use our sentiment analysis REST API.

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