From Amazon’s Alexa to Facebook’s bots, every major tech firm in the world is trying to leverage the power of Artificial intelligence (AI). AI offers opportunities to revolutionise data gathering and analytics as well as consumer experiences, and the world’s tech giants are scrambling for a piece of the pie, including Microsoft.
Highlighting its progress in the area of AI, Microsoft has announced a slew of updates to its AI assistant Cortana, search engine Bing, and Office 365.
The company also announced a new partnership between Reddit and Bing. Additionally, the company announced new features added to the “Seeing AI” app on iOS and demonstrated AI integration with products, like HoloLens, and customers, including Cheetah Mobile, UPS, and Equadex.
Microsoft said Bing’s newest features – Intelligent Answers, Advanced Image Search, and Conversational Search – now leverage AI to provide the most relevant results and search capabilities. For example, if you ask Bing “is cholesterol bad,” you’ll see two different perspectives on that question. That’s part of Microsoft’s effort to acknowledge that sometimes a question doesn’t have a clear black-and-white answer.
The Perspective Engine has been introduced to help search users make sense of the jumble of numbers they increasingly encounter in the digital world.
New hands-free, eyes-free capabilities have also been added to Cortana to help with email and calendar management as well as new Skills Suggestion and Chaining capabilities, giving Cortana the ability to understand users’ overall intent and offer the next most relevant skill.
New AI capabilities in Office 365 for Outlook, Word, and Excel now deliver personalized experiences that harness the power of intelligence to help people work smarter and focus on what matters most.
Microsoft also announced a partnership with the social news aggregation site Reddit, to surface perspectives from Reddit conversations and different Reddit communities in Bing search engine results when that information is particularly useful.
The “Seeing AI” app received new features, including currency and colour recognition, audible light detector, and expansion to more than 35 countries. The app is free on iOS and is designed for people who are blind or have a visual impairment, helping users see more of the world.
Updates were made to Cognitive Services, including the general availability of The Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) and Azure Bot Service among other updates, continuing the commitment of making AI available to everyone.
Intelligent features in the all-new Photos app for Windows 10 make it easier to manage, search, and create videos to bring your memories to life.
Microsoft also highlighted a new commitment of $50 million over the next five years to grow the AI for Earth programme.
Given the growing trend of companies capitalising on the vast amounts of data generated by Artificial intelligence, Microsoft’s new updates will ensure that the company keeps its operations competitive in a rapidly evolving world. At the same time, consumers can expect improved user experiences on the company’s various applications as the power of AI becomes available at their fingertips.
(With inputs from IANS)
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