​Microsoft Upgrades the AI Capabilities of Azure

Microsoft today announced a number of AI-related updates to its Azure platform, including a public preview of its Custom Vision Service, improvements to its Face API, and the general availability of Bing Entity Search.

As the name suggests, Microsoft Custom Vision Service offers developers the ability to implement custom computer vision models. Developers upload labeled images, or allow Custom Vision Service to tag unlabeled images. The service is then trained to perform identifications and classifications using the labeled images. Once a custom computer vision model is ready for use, developers can use a REST API to process and tag new images. Because of the level of customization it offers, Microsoft says that Custom Vision Service can be employed in a wide range of applications, from retail to social.

The Face API, which provides face and emotion recognition, has been updated to include million-scale recognition. According to Microsoft, "With this update, developers can now teach the Face API to recognize up to 1 million people and still get lightning-fast responses."

Finally, Bing Entity Search is now generally available through the Azure Portal. The service allows developers to pull data about people, places and things, including movies, television shows, books and businesses, into their own apps via API. This data can be used to enrich augment their own content and enrich the user experiences of their apps.

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