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Microsoft Rebrands Project Oxford as Microsoft Cognitive Services

By John Casaretto
April 05, 2016

Microsoft Corporation has rebranded its machine learning tools portfolio to the name Microsoft Cognitive Services. The announcement was made last week at the company's Build Developer Conference in San Francisco. The project has been ongoing for some time under the name ‘Project Oxford,’ but users will now be redirected to the newly branded site.

Microsoft Cognitive Services combines the power of Bing, the company’s search engine, with the intelligence that went into the Project Oxford efforts. This suite of APIs is designed for developers that are looking to add a dimension of intelligence to their applications. These APIs help interpret the needs of humans through visual and sound aspects, including facial recognition, vision, speech, and text.  The system processes and interprets this data to produce what humans translate as language understanding and emotion. For example, new systems are able to accurately discern and describe the content within an image, and they are even able to place an age on an image of a face.  Another example utility is in Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

The ability to quickly recognize words within a high speed application interface is a significant capability that could lead to further advancements in pattern recognition down the road.

Microsoft senior program manager lead Cornelia Carapcea adds that a total of 22 APIs are available in Cognitive Services now. For the time being, developers can try the services out for free, but the company did lay out pricing for the services and APIs for some point in the future.  The project is similar in scope to IBM’s Watson, which is also branded as a cognitive computing product. Time will tell where developers implement these services into their applications and how they put cognitive capabilities in place.  Look forward to many new and significant developments from this realm of system development.

If you’re interested in hearing more about APIs and what the future has in store, be sure to head over to the All About the API event happening  July 18-21 at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.




Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing Writer

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