Artificial Intelligence (AI), in one shape or another, has been in use for many years. However, it is perhaps only recently that businesses are realising the full benefits they can gain by embracing it. This delayed realisation may be due to the long-held perception that AI is only accessible to large organisations with big budgets. Thanks to Microsoft Azure, this is no longer the case.
There are many advantages that come with business use of AI, but perhaps the key drivers tend to be increased efficiency, utilisation of big data, and an improved customer experience.
AI can achieve these outcomes by automating mundane data-entry and by processing large amounts of information in real time. This can then be used to improve internal processes and to create better customer outcomes. In this blog, we’ll explore the functionality of the Azure AI platform and highlight the ways it benefits businesses.
Azure Cognitive Services
Azure Cognitive Services are Cloud-based services with REST APIs and user interfaces, which help businesses to build cognitive intelligence within their applications. These services can be added to an application without the developer needing AI or data science experience.
These services are split into four categories:
- Cognitive Services for Speech: These tools provide businesses with next-generation speech capabilities within their applications, such as speech to text, text to speech, real-time audio translation and speaker recognition.
- Cognitive Services for Language: These tools allow businesses to add natural language capabilities to their applications. This means that applications can understand conversations and unstructured text, with features such as entity recognition, sentiment analysis and question answering.
- Cognitive Services for Vision: These tools consist of features designed to identify and analyse content within images and videos. With the Computer Vision functionality, applications can use real-time video to analyse how people move through spaces, the occupancy count, and even face mask detection.
- Cognitive Services for Decision: These enable businesses to make smarter (and faster) decisions, with features including Anomaly Detection (to identify potential problems early on) and Personalizer (a tool that creates personalised experiences for users).
These services can work in isolation or together to create smarter applications, allowing businesses to make better decisions that are data-driven.
Azure Applied AI Services
Azure Applied AI Services allow businesses to deploy AI solutions quickly and simply, by bringing together Azure Cognitive Services, task-specific AI, and business logic. These services include Azure Bot Service, Azure Form Recogniser, and Azure Cognitive Search:
- Azure Bot Service: This enables businesses to design and build enterprise-grade conversational AI. These bots can make use of other Azure Cognitive Services to understand natural language and even have its own recognisable brand voice with text-to-speech. Once the bots have been developed, they can be used on digital channels such as a website, mobile application, Microsoft Teams, or as an Interactive Voice Response.
- Azure Form Recogniser: This service quickly extracts text and structure from digital and physical documents. It does this using advanced machine learning which analyses and extracts information from a document. This information can be put into a data visualisation service for analysis or stored in the Cloud for future use.
- Azure Cognitive Search: This is an extremely powerful search engine service with built-in AI capabilities. The service mines information from unstructured data, then uses machine learning to index and filter the information. This makes it significantly easier for users or developers to find necessary information
We have discussed just a few of the ways AI can be used (through Microsoft Azure) to bring benefits to your business. If you’re interested in learning more about these services, contact us today.
We understand that organisations are at different stages of the journey when it comes to fully leveraging the power of Microsoft Azure. On top of this, it can be difficult to ensure you’re getting the most out of your Cloud investment. For this reason, we’re pleased to be offering a free Azure Health Check. Click here for more information.