Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are undoubtably some of the greatest technological advancements of the past decade. Although AI has technically been in use for many years, it is only recently that businesses have truly harnessed the power of AI to deliver better business outcomes. AI may seem like it is only feasible for large businesses with even larger budgets, but with Microsoft Azure, these technologies are becoming more affordable. In this article we will discuss some of the functionality within the Azure AI platform, and how AI can benefit businesses.
Azure Cognitive Services are cloud-based services with REST APIs and user interfaces available to help businesses build cognitive intelligence within their applications. These services are beneficial to businesses as they can be added to an application without the developer having AI or data science experience. These services are split into four categories: Speech, Language, Vision and Decision.
Cognitive Services for Speech are a set of tools that enable businesses to have next-generation speech capabilities within their applications. Some examples of these tools include speech to text, text to speech, real-time audio translation and speaker recognition.
Cognitive Services for Language allow businesses to easily add natural language capabilities to their applications. This means that applications can understand conversations and unstructured text, with features such as entity recognition, sentiment analysis and question answering.
Cognitive Services for Vision includes many features designed to identify and analyse content within images and videos. With the Computer Vision functionality, applications can use real-time video to analyse how people move through spaces, the occupancy count, and even face mask detection.
Cognitive Services for Decision allow businesses to make smarter decisions faster. Some of the features include Anomaly Detection to identify potential problems early on and Personalizer, a tool that creates personalised experiences for users.
These services can work in isolation or together to create smarter applications and allow businesses to make better decisions driven by data.
Azure Applied AI Services allow businesses to quickly and easily deploy AI solutions by bringing together Azure Cognitive Services, task-specific AI, and business logic. Some of the Applied AI Services include Azure Bot Service, Azure Form Recogniser and Azure Cognitive Search.
Azure Bot Service is a service where businesses can design and build enterprise grade conversational AI. These bots can make use of other Azure Cognitive Services to understand natural language and even have its own recognisable brand voice with text-to-speech. Once these bots have been developed, they can be used on many digital channels, including a website, mobile application, Microsoft Teams, or as an Interactive Voice Response.
Azure Form Recogniser is a service that quickly extracts text and structure from digital and physical documents. This is possible through the use of advanced machine learning that analyses and extracts the information from a document. This information can be put into a data visualisation service for analysis, or stored in the cloud for use in the future.
Azure Cognitive Search is an extremely powerful search engine service with built-in AI capabilities. The service mines information from unstructured data, then uses machine learning to index and filter the information. After this is implemented, it makes it significantly for users or developers to find necessary information
There are many ways that AI can be used within a business, each with its own benefits. However, the technology typically is used to increase efficiency, make use of big data, and create better customer experiences.
AI can increase efficiency as the technology can handle tasks much faster than a human can. There are many mundane data-related tasks, that can be automated with AI to increase productivity and improve business outcomes.
Businesses also rely on AI to take in and process massive amount of data in real time. Over the past decade businesses have been collecting more data than ever before. With AI, businesses can use this data to improve internal processes and create better customer experiences.
With Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning becoming more accessible, businesses of all sizes can now harness the power of these advanced technologies. If you want to find out more about AI in Azure, contact us today.