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5 Remarkable Azure Cognitive Services

Microsoft’s cloud-based service Azure has wondrous effects on businesses. It improves their scalability and cuts down the hosting and storage costs. Azure enables developers to create, manage, and deploy robust apps. Some of the noticeable Azure cognitive services or Azure ML-based capabilities include:

  • Handwriting recognition
  • Text sentiment analysis
  • Ad-free searches

Azure Cognitive Services

Azure undergoes frequent upgrades and improvements. You can now add cognitive capabilities to the Azure app. Azure Cognitive services improve your machine learning capabilities.

Azure Cognitive Service is an ML-based service that incorporates AI and cognitive abilities in development tasks.

Moreover, it solves a range of problems using artificial intelligence. These cognitive services enable applications to see, hear, speak, understand, infer, and make decisions like humans do.

In simple terms, Azure Cognitive Services incorporates human-like capabilities in a computer through vision, speech, knowledge, search, and language.

Different uses of Azure Cognitive Services

Developers and data scientists use cognitive services to get access to artificial intelligence. Cognitive services create algorithms in apps with minimal programming and coding. These services are easy to use, understand, and access.

Thus, they enable improvements among platforms and various operating systems.

You can use Microsoft Azure services for the following situations:

  • If you wish to incorporate smart capabilities into the software to increase the efficiency but have no resources 
  • When you want to conduct sentiment analysis to understand data but do not know coding and algorithms
  • Whenever your software management requires content moderation and customer support, you want to unload its burden.

The blog discusses some of the most popular and extensively used Azure Cognitive Services to help businesses grow.

Let’s go through each to see how they tailor different applications.

 

Vision

The Azure app Services can recognize and interpret the content within a video or an image in this service. It sees right through it to analyze through visual means. The vision-based services are further classified into different categories to account for various needs.

Image analysis

The user analyses and classifies different visual aspects of a picture through image analysis. Hence the API uses different domain-based approaches to analyze the image. For example, It tells you whatever the picture contains, faces, dimensions, and colors.

It is smart enough even to identify if the view contains adult content. If there is a picture of people outside a grocery store, AI explains it using descriptive tags and chunks of sentences.

Similarly, the tags would say “man,” “grocery,” “shop,” “outdoor,” or fragments of phrases like “people standing outside grocery stores.”

Handwriting recognition

Optical character reading (OCR) technology in the Azure helps you read different handwriting styles. Yet again, AI/ML solutions power this nifty technology to read, detect, extract, analyze, and reproduce any handwriting style.

Although OCR can only read English at the moment, the upgrades are in process. Moreover, these cognitive services are smart enough to work on sticky notes, papers, charts, and blackboards.

Celebrity recognition 

Azure recognizes famous faces and landmarks since it has a vast database of celebrities and landmarks. It carries over 200,000 characters in its celebrity data warehouse. At the same time, it contains 9,000 landmark characters.

Text Reading in the images

Azure cognitive services can easily read English text in an image using the good old, trusty OCR technology. It transforms the text into readable characters. Therefore, you can use the app to ID embedded text too.

Real-time video analysis

The app strips any video frame of your choice, scene-by-scene, and presents it in a text-based description. Whatever the frame captures, the app reads the description in a form similar to descriptive tags, as mentioned above.

 

Speech

Azure cognitive services include speech recognition software similar to natural speech recognition platforms. It also offers AI-based speech recognition services, including STT and TTS.

These speech recognition engines are much more intelligent than non-AI counterparts such as Sonix or Windows Speech Recognition.

Some of the speech services of Azure include:

Speech recognition

Azure’s speech engine enables user-tailored language models. Despite any speech styles, dialect, geography, and technicality, the app recognizes whatever you say and transcribes it accordingly.

Text-to-speech transcription

Azure uses advanced acoustic models to convert written text into audio notes. The cognitive services configure the text and read it back.

Therefore, differently-abled and people with impaired hearing use text-speech transcription services. However, people also use it to proofread texts too.

Real-time text translations

The cognitive services have unparalleled precision and accuracy when it comes to translating text. Regardless of the language, it understands and interprets the text. Currently, it deals only in English (UK and US), but other languages are also coming up. 

Speaker verification

You must be familiar with the voice ID concept. It is the concept behind the speaker verification system. The speaker verification science uses Azure’s AI, ML, and speech recognition faculties to recognize the speaker.

It is a very robust and intelligent system because of its accurate recognition quality and service. 

 

Language

Azure services can analyze and interpret phrases and fragments of text when it comes to communication. It has a language recognition software too. 

Text analytics

Text Analytics API is a nifty tool that analyzes and interprets the text. It uses parameters like phrases, clauses, sentiments, and languages. Azure’s API informs the user what language the text is in, highlights the key terms and sentiments, and provides interlinks.

Spell check

Azure cognitive services provide users with a robust proofreading tool that does the necessary and accurate spell check. It also accounts for punctuation, capitalization, formatting, style, and grammatical errors.

Translator text

Azure’s API offers a fully integrated translation platform. It integrates neural machine translation with an instant language recognition service. Besides that, some of its features include:

  • Transliteration 
  • Alternative translations seekers 
  • Bilingual dictionaries
  • Offline support
  • Customizable UI

Content moderator tool

The content moderator includes images, text, and views. The content moderator tool requires human handling for adjusting filters, adding or removing content, tweaking changes, etc.

It lets you curate your content according to your need and the social media platform where it goes. 

 

Knowledge

Azure’s API provides comprehensive, accurate, and appropriate database creation and search tools. You can look for anything, and Azure provides relevant knowledge and information. 

Q&A tool

The app whips up answers to whatever questions you type. It presents you with all the relevant FAQs and Q&As for any question the moment you jot it down.

This tool allows the website owners and developers to curate a comprehensive Q&A and FAQ forum. The Azure services are intelligent enough to generate a knowledge base by identifying users’ queries and concerns.

It then cross-references your questions to the section where you can find the best answer. Consequently, AI-infused technology allows it to perform comprehensive solutions.

 

Search

This is the final cognitive service by Azure. It helps users with the way they search online for various topics and things. Microsoft’s search engine “Bing” employs artificial intelligence to assist searches.

The AI algorithms produce results and databases relevant to the searched query.

Bing web search

You can dig up any information on Bing, while Azure ensures comprehensive and most relevant results at all times. The web search on Bing will display text, images, videos, pdf notes, and anything remotely related to your inquiry.

It also allows you to filter your search results based on geographical location, time, safety, newness, and channel.

Bing custom search

The custom search option on Bing configures the settings to narrow down your search. So, the predictive text and drop-down box appear when you type something on the search bar. Through this box, you can get to different domains that will help you find what you are looking for.

You can filter the results based on your market and desire. Safe search is another feature of Bing’s custom search facility.

Bing video search

Azure’s cognitive services also provide relevant information and material when looking for any video. Along with videos, the API includes video details like the total number of views, likes, format, publisher, etc.

Similarly, you can filter your video search based on video resolution, upload date, time duration, and versions.

Bing image search

Bing image search is quite similar to the video search. For example, if you are looking for wallpaper for your laptop, the moment you type, it displays different options. There are several options under the results that appear, which help you to narrow down your search.

It could be an image, web, video, or book search. You click on the image search, which displays many photos relating to your search.

Additionally, it allows you to refine the search according to the image type, size, and format. There are other filters too. It entirely depends on what you are looking for.

Bing news search

Lastly, Bing news search is another powerful feature of Azure’s cognitive search solution. It is also known as the Bing News Search API. This platform displays news on any topic and subject you search. It also uses the same algorithms and coding techniques as the image and video search.

For instance, it will display contextual information when looking for current news and affairs. Similarly, it follows the same drill of narrowing down the research based on different variables.

To sum up, Azure Cognitive Services provide users and developers with human-parity facilities. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the building blocks of these services. Azure does have numerous benefits and capabilities that enhance business intelligence and performance.

However, its integration and cognitive services provide helpful everyday solutions to many challenges. While technology is a fascinating subject, every day, it unravels new mysteries and discoveries which were inconceivable earlier. We must be careful in applying these marvels to reap maximum benefits. 

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Sania Khan

Sania Khan, is a content writer who has been writing for past 7 years. A content marketer by day and a poet by night, she previously worked for a large multinational and left it to pursue her passion for writing. She enjoys a good read with wit and tea to get her day started!