Microsoft Updates Azure Cognitive Services
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Monday, 17 October 2022

Microsoft announced updates to Azure Cognitive Services at its annual Ignite conference. Azure Cognitive Services is described as bringing AI to developers through APIs that don't require machine-learning expertise.

Azure Cognitive Services are cloud-based AI services that developers can access through REST APIs and client library SDKs.

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The first set of improvements are to the Cognitive Services Language AI products, which as the name suggests are used to extract, analyze, and retrieve insights from text content. The services announced at Ignite include conversation narrative summarization and chaptering, document abstractive summarization, and better AI handling of contact center language.

The conversation summary feature provides concise summaries for conversations with chapters at the end of each call so users don't have to take notes. The preview features are provided through unified language APIs, and are powered by Z-Code++, Microsoft's pre-trained transformer language model. The conversation narrative summarization and chaptering generates summaries and chapters for both chat logs and speech transcripts. There's also a new document summary option that Microsoft says creates summaries that "represent the most important or relevant information within the original content, instead of simply extracted sentences from the original document".

Cognitive Services also has expanded language support, with sentiment analysis, key phrase extraction and opinion mining now available in 94 languages. Named entity recognition will now support 24 languages, and Text Analytics for Health will support seven languages, specifically  English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Hebrew.

The improvements also include better handling of conversations. The services already included the ability to build custom natural language understanding models to predict the overall intention of what a caller was saying, and question answering to help you build conversational client applications, such as social media applications and chat bots. This has been extended with the Conversation Personally Identifiable Information (PII) making it possible to extract sensitive information (PII) in conversations in a number of categories and redact them.

Automatic translation has also been improved with a document translator that can translate most common document formats in 100 languages through REST APIs and client-library SDKs.

More information on the Azure Cognitive Services improvements is available on services web page. 

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More Information

Azure Cognitive Services

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Last Updated ( Monday, 17 October 2022 )