Microsoft AI Immersion Workshop 2017 Recap


One of the events which I was lot excited to attend was the pre-Build event – ‘Microsoft AI Immersion Workshop‘. The event promised to be a great opportunity for developers to learn about building intelligent applications using Microsoft and open source technologies. Now that the event is over, I must say that it did live up to its expectation.

On 9th May, I reached the W Hotel at 8 AM for the registration, and saw lot of excited Build attendees already there. The registration process was smooth, the breakfast was awesome and there were lot of smiling volunteers who helped manage the huge crowd.

Attendee Badge

The event kick started with a keynote from Joseph Sirosh, Corporate Vice President of the Data Platform, who laid out Microsoft’s investments in AI and the intelligent data platform. It was an interesting talk with lot of cool demos shown by the Product Team Members. Joseph talked about how Microsoft is infusing AI to bring in intelligence within data platform. The intent is to enable developers to use data, cloud and AI to build the next generation of intelligent applications.

Few of the highlights/bullet points from the keynote were —

3 technologies coming together – Data, Cloud, Intelligence – revolution in the making.

Data Cloud and Intelligence

Demo by Carlos, Principal Engineer – showed Realtime Crowd Insights – tracking emotions/name/age and Content Intelligence.

Connected drones that can fly and capture statistics and data, which is sent to the Cloud for analysis. For instance, it can review all connectors being defective in power transmission.

Content Intelligence

AI in every Software
Building intelligence to where data lives –
Making the transition from ‘Application+ Intelligence and Database’ to                          ‘Application and Intelligence + Database’

Building intelligence to where data lives

SQL Server 2017 – First commercial database with AI built in.
R Server 9.1 – Combines the best of Open source and Microsoft Innovation

With SQL Server 2017 release. we now have Python support, R support and Graph support to manage data easily.

First commercial database with AI built in

Azure Data Lake Services will enable you to store and do a predictive analysis for petabytes of data.

 Azure Data Lake Services for predictive analysis

Simplify the AI app – just a stored procedure

Simplify the AI app

AI predictions being used in multiple areas —

  • Rain-fed agriculture at Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Determining school dropout percent
  • Performing accurate Lasik surgery, among 54M visually impaired people.

AI predictions in Rain-fed agriculture

Using AI in Healthcare has been a revelation —
Eye care in India
Microsoft India and LV Prasad Eye Institute has partnered for building AI platform for eye care and better surgical treatments like Mapping diseases by children, Focus on child refractive errors and Predictive outcome of refractive surgery.

AI in Healthcare

Microsoft Bot Framework can be used by developers to build powerful and intelligent bots – and in the process can allow users to interact with the bots in a convenient manner. Additionally you can use Microsoft Cognitive Services to add features like image recognition, speech recognition and more.

Bot Implementations

There were 5 different workshops which followed the keynote –

  • Applied Machine Learning for Developers
  • Big AI – Applying Artificial Intelligence at Scale
  • Weaving Cognitive Services, Azure Services, and Bots to Provide Next-Generation Intelligence
  • Deep Learning and the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit
  • Building Intelligent SaaS Applications

I attended the 3rd session mentioned above. There was lot of detailed information provided about Microsoft Cognitive Services and the Azure service offerings. There was hands-on exercise to build an application using Cognitive Services, Document DB, Azure Search and more.

Cognitive Services

Resources

You can look at the below resource to learn more about AI –

Microsoft AI – Amplify human ingenuity

Microsoft Cognitive Services: Introducing the Seeing AI project

Thanks to the Microsoft AI Immersion Workshop Team for hosting this event and for a great day of learning. I look forward to attend the next edition of this event.

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