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Microsoft to make 'Cognitive Services' available to developers

New York: Microsoft is making Cognitive Services, a collection of 25 tools that will allow developers to add features such as sentiment detection, speech recognition and language understanding to their applications.

"Cognitive Services is about taking all of the machine learning and AI smarts and exposing them to developers through easy-to-use application programming interface (API), so that they do not have to invent the technology themselves," said Mike Seltzer, Principal Researcher, Speech and Dialog Research Group at Microsoft's Research Lab.

The same technology is now available to developers of third-party applications via the "Custom Speech Service", a Cognitive Service that Microsoft released to public preview on Tuesday.

Two other Cognitive Services, the Content Moderator and Bing Speech API, will be moving to general availability next month, the company said.

The "Content Moderator" allows users to quarantine and review data such as images, text or videos to filter out unwanted material, such as potentially offensive language or pictures.

The "Bing Speech API" converts audio into text, understands intent and converts text back to speech.

"Being able to have software now that observes people, listens, reacts and is knowledgeable about the physical world around them provides an excellent breakthrough in terms of making interfaces more human, more natural, more easy to understand and thus far more impactful in lots of different scenarios," added Andrew Shuman, Corporate Vice President, Products, Microsoft's AI and Research organisation.

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