Microsoft Cognitive Services helping democratize AI in India

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Microsoft India has showcased several of its own and third-party solutions that use Microsoft Cognitive Services and bring the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to users and organizations through vision, speech, language, knowledge and search scenarios.

Over 370 enterprise customers in India already use these cognitive APIs from Microsoft. Microsoft is working with over 650 partners to bring AI solutions to benefit large, medium and small enterprises in the country.

Microsoft Cognitive Services is a collection of intelligent APIs that allow systems to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret human needs using natural methods of communication. Developers can use these APIs to make their applications across platforms more intelligent, engaging and discoverable.

Available at www.microsoft.com/cognitive, it includes APIs on
•Vision: From faces to feelings, allow apps to understand images and video
•Speech: Hear and speak to users by filtering noise, identifying speakers, and understanding intent
•Language: Process text and learn how to recognize what users want
•Knowledge: Tap into rich knowledge amassed from the web, academia, or your own data
•Search: Locate relevant information among billions of web pages, images, videos, and news with the power of Bing APIs

To date, more than a million developers around the world have already discovered and tried Microsoft Cognitive Services.

Microsoft and partner solutions available to Indian customers are many. Here are a few examples.

VISION

· Seeing AI: Designed for users with visual impairment, the Microsoft Seeing AI App combines artificial intelligence and rich computer vision to describe surrounding people, text, objects, colors, and currencies in real-time to the user, and is available for download on iOS devices. It can now detect Indian currency and narrate the denomination to the user. This includes all the currency notes that are currently in circulation including the new currency bills issued recently. The Seeing AI app now supports five different currencies including the Euro, US & Canadian dollars as well as British Pounds.

· The Intelligent Kiosk: The Intelligent Kiosk is a Windows 10 Universal App showcasing workflows and experiences using Microsoft Cognitive Services. The kiosk app is a great example of an intelligent application, one that can analyze the emotions on human faces as well as still photographs and predict their age, gender and emotion. It also allows developers to quickly create and train a model to perform face identification against any pre-determined set of faces.

· Transforming remote hiring: Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company, India’s leading private general insurer, is using an automated video interviewing solution from Microsoft partner Talview to hire from the untapped talent from multiple cities across the country. The cloud-based solution, powered by Microsoft Azure, can be accessed by candidates from any smartphone device and is fully functional even on low speed Internet.

To be more competitive and agile in today’s dynamic marketplace, Bajaj Allianz needed to tap talent from multiple locations. This otherwise came with huge investments in time and resources from both the recruiter and candidate.. Deploying automated video interviewing has saved the company time and resources while vastly improving the recruitment process. Candidates are now remotely participating in interviews via smartphones at their own convenient time and place, and hiring managers have the flexibility to assess and evaluate candidates without the need to travel to different locations. The company is also using Talview Behavioral Insights (TBI) to build behavioral profiles of candidates. These profiles are enabling hiring managers to find the right person for the job backed by data-driven insights.

LANGUAGE

· Real-time language translation: Microsoft has recently brought the power of AI and Deep Neural Networks (DNN) to improve real-time language translation for Hindi, Bengali, and Tamil. With DNN-powered language translation, the results are more accurate and sound more natural. Users can avail the benefits of DNN-enhanced Indian language translation while surfing the internet across any website on the Microsoft Edge browser, on Bing search, Bing Translator website, as well as Microsoft Office 365 products like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Skype. The Microsoft Translator app in Android and iOS can recognize and translate languages from text, speech and even photos. AI deployed in Microsoft’s language translation technologies is bringing more accurate speech recognition and higher quality machine-powered translations to all 60 languages supported by Microsoft’s translation technologies worldwide.

KNOWLEDGE (CONVERSATIONAL USER INTERFACES)

· WittyParrot: WittyParrot is an AI & ML powered knowledge and process automation platform for sales, support and knowledge workers. Key solutions include Voice enabled Chat Bots, Document Automation, Contract Lifecycle, Omni-Channel Communication and Engagement. WittyParrot was part of Bengaluru-based Microsoft Accelerator’s 10th batch where they underwent an intensive six-month coaching and mentoring programme. They are using Microsoft’s Azure cloud offering and leverage it for technologies like big data, internet of things (IoT) and advanced analytics, among others, while being fully integrated with Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office 365, several CRM platforms and various voice enabled chat-bot technologies. WittyParrot solutions are being used by leading IT and ITES organizations such as Oracle, Couchbase, Collabera and Data Endure.

· Ruuh: Ruuh, Microsoft’s social AI chatbot created specifically for India, has approximately 1.5 million users. Launched a little over a year and a half ago, Ruuh has exchanged 100m messages with her users so far. You can engage with her on Facebook in the same way you would interact with a friend. She is built using the vast social content available on the Internet (with strong checks and balances to protect her from exploitation). Further, she is well versed with Bollywood and has a good sense of humor too. As an AI chatbot, she is learning increasingly from human interactions to respond emotionally and intelligently, providing a unique viewpoint, with manners and emotional expressions.

KNOWLEDGE (PRODUCTIVITY)

· AI in Office 365: Microsoft’s AI infused Office 365 helps organizations and employees get the most out of O365 in the following ways:

­ Intelligent, personalized search: This personalized experience uses signals from the Microsoft Graph to provide tailored search results across content and people in an organization based on a user’s work patterns. The redesigned results are easier to explore and allow users to preview files with support for over 270+ different file types without ever leaving the search page.

­ PowerPoint Designer: It is easy to get beautiful designs in minutes for even more types of slides. Designer in PowerPoint now can recommend professional design options for bulleted process lists. This expansion builds upon previous Designer updates to incorporate facial detection, color extraction and more in images. Additional categories of text will be supported in the future, such as timelines.

­ QuickStarter in PowerPoint and Sway: Powered by the Bing Knowledge Graph, QuickStarter in Sway and PowerPoint provides carefully curated outlines for any topic, including recommendations on information to include, categories to consider and associated images tagged with Creative Commons licenses. This provides a solid starting point to then continue building a presentation.

­ MyAnalytics: Users can create better work habits with the help of Microsoft MyAnalytics (formerly Delve Analytics). It provides insights to help understand how users spend time at work, across meetings, email, time they designate as “focus time” and after-hours work. This way, they can set productivity goals and monitor progress over time. Users can also gain visibility into who they collaborate with most. In the future, MyAnalytics will deliver insights to teams and Office 365 Groups to help them establish better ways of working together, uncover hidden inefficiencies and align on priorities.

AI and Microsoft

Microsoft has an ambitious goal to make AI accessible and valuable to every individual and organization, amplifying human ingenuity with intelligent technology.

Microsoft is infusing intelligence across all its products and services to extend individuals’ and organizations’ capabilities and make them more productive; providing a powerful platform of AI services and tools that makes innovation by developers and partners faster and more accessible; and helping transform business by enabling breakthroughs to current approaches and entirely new scenarios that leverage the power of intelligent technology.

In its work to deploy AI everywhere, Microsoft is taking a thoughtful and trusted approach – designing AI innovations that extend and empower human capabilities in all aspects of life, while keeping people in control. Microsoft’s approach to AI puts users in control, with intelligence that is transparent and secure, and sets the highest bar for protecting privacy, while also being inclusive and respectful to all.

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