Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning Hopes to Give Watson a Run for Its Money

azure-machine-learningJeffrey Schwartz of Redmond Magazine recently wrote, “Nearly a year after launching its Hadoop-based Azure HDInsight cloud analytics service, Microsoft believes it’s a better and broader solution for real-time analytics and predictive analysis than IBM’s widely touted Watson. Big Blue this year has begun commercializing its Watson technology, made famous in 2011 when it came out of the research labs to appear and win on the television game show Jeopardy. Both companies had a large presence at this year’s Strata + Hadoop World Conference in New York, attended by 5,000 Big Data geeks. At the Microsoft booth, Eron Kelly, general manager for SQL Server product marketing, highlighted some key improvements to Microsoft’s overall Big Data portfolio since last year’s release of Azure HDInsight including SQL Server 2014 with support for in-memory processing, PowerBI and the launch in June of Azure Machine Learning.” Read more

Blurred Lines: RDBMS Vendors Will Add NoSQL Database Features

forrlogoResearch firm Forrester at the end of September issued its Forrester Wave: NoSQL Key-Value Databases, Q3 2014 report. The report looked at seven enterprise-class vendors in the space: Amazon Web Services, Aerospike, Basho Technologies, Couchbase, DataStax, MapR Technologies, and Oracle.

Noting that the current adoption of NoSQL is at 20 percent and is likely to double by 2017, Forrester principal analyst and report author Noel Yuhanna and his co-authors explain that top use cases for key-value database include social and mobile apps, scale-out apps, Web 2.0, line-of-business apps, big data apps, and operational and analytical apps.

That said, he also notes that the lines between key-value store, document database and graph database NoSQL solutions are blurring, as vendors look to satisfy broader enterprise needs and better appeal to app developers. “Relational database management system vendors, such as Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and SAP, will broaden their current relational database products to include key-value, graph and document features and functionality to deliver more comprehensive data management platforms in the coming years,” the report states.

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Cortana Enhances Predictive Capabilities

cortana304x200Jason Mick recently blogged, “While iOS 8 should make Apple, Inc.’s (AAPL) Siri substantially smarter, Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) Windows Phone voice-controlled assistant Cortana currently enjoys a nice lead in natural language processing and the ability to interface with multiple apps to perform useful functions.

Cortana is a commercial product, but it’s also a bit of lab experiment for the folks at Microsoft.  During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Microsoft showed off its increasingly sophisticated prediction algorithms, which correctly guessed 15 out of 16 winners in the knockout round stage.  Its sole mistake was picking Brazil to beat the Netherlands (whoops) for third place in the consolation match.”

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Microsoft Data Architect Talks Azure ML and the Future of Machine Learning

azuremlMary Branscombe of Tech Radar recently wrote, “We had the opportunity to interview Roger Barga, one of the architects of the Azure ML, Microsoft’s machine learning cloud service, to discuss various aspects of the system. ‘The ranking algorithm that’s in our regression module, the same one running Bing search and serving up ranked results,’ Barga told TechRadar Pro. ‘It’s our implementation on Azure but all the heuristics and know-how came from the years of experience running it. The same recommendation module we have in Azure ML is the same recommendation module that serves up in Xbox what player to play against next.’ Azure ML can look at a document, work out what it’s about and look those topics up on Bing. ‘We can say this is a company, this is a person, this is a product,’ explains Barga. ‘That’s the same way Delve will find documents and discussions and messages that you’ll want to see’.” Read more

Microsoft Introduces New Deep Learning System, Project Adam

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Daniela Hernandez of Wired reports, “Drawing on the work of a clever cadre of academic researchers, the biggest names in tech—including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple—are embracing a more powerful form of AI known as ‘deep learning,’ using it to improve everything from speech recognition and language translation to computer vision, the ability to identify images without human help. In this new AI order, the general assumption is that Google is out in front… But now, Microsoft’s research arm says it has achieved new records with a deep learning system it calls Adam, which will be publicly discussed for the first time during an academic summit this morning at the company’s Redmond, Washington headquarters.” Read more

Microsoft Ups Its Stake in Machine Learning

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Pedro Hernandez of eWeek reports, “‘Mobile-first, cloud-first’ may be Microsoft’s new mantra, but another term has been has been increasingly creeping into the company’s lexicon of late. As one of the components of Microsoft’s growing slate of smart services, machine learning is also guiding part of the company’s product strategy, according to Microsoft Research Distinguished Scientist John Platt. First, it helps to know how his company classifies machine learning (ML). ‘In general, ML converts data sets into pieces of software, known as ‘models,’ that can represent the data set and generalize to make predictions on new data,’ explained Platt in Microsoft’s new Machine Learning Blog.” Read more

Microsoft Assists Internet of Things

AllSeen Alliance logoPhil Goldstein of FierceWireless reported that, “Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) joined the AllSeen Alliance, an open-source project founded on Qualcomm technology and aimed at coming up with a standard to connect devices and have them interact as part of the Internet of Things. The software giant’s participation in the group adds heft to its membership, which has been largely dominated by consumer electronics and home appliance makers.The AllSeen Alliance’s leading members include Haier, LG Electronics, Panasonic and Sharp, and in total the group now has 51 members. Adding Microsoft could ensure that future Windows devices interact with other connected gadgets via the AllSeen Alliance’s specifications.”

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Semantic Technology Jobs: Microsoft

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Microsoft is looking for a Senior Natural Language Processing Scientist in Redmond, WA. The post states, “Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) is one of the most interesting and best-known applications of Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning. The Microsoft Translator team is a very strong technical team that builds and runs the one of the largest automatic translation services on the Web, and is now expanding into speech translation with the Skype Translator app. We are looking for an experienced Research Scientist to join our team in working towards human quality text and speech translations. We are a small and dedicated group, focused on delivering the best quality translations for our users and internal and external partners. Entrepreneurship, passion, and self-drive are important qualities for the candidate to succeed in the team.” Read more

Microsoft Talks Up What It’s Calling The First Truly Virtual Personal Assistant

Microsoft cortanaAs The Semantic Web Blog discussed yesterday here, the Virtual Personal Assistant is getting more personal. Microsoft officially unveiled Cortana as part of the Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone software at its Build event yesterday, and the service effectively replaces the search function on Windows smartphones, both for the Internet and locally.

This statement served as the theme from corporate vice president and manager Joe Belfiore: “Cortana is the first truly personal digital assistant who learns about me and about the things that matter to me most and the people that matter to me most, that understands the Internet and is great at helping me get things done.”

The Bing-powered Cortana is launching in beta mode, and was still subject to a few hiccups during the presentation. For example, when Belfiore asked Cortana to give him the weather in Las Vegas, it reported the information in degrees, and was able to respond to his request to provide the same information in Celsius. But he couldn’t get her to make the calculations to Kelvin. But, he promised attendees, “Try it yourself because she is smart enough to tell you the answer in Kelvin.”

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Microsoft Works to Make Office 365 Smarter with Machine Learning

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Juan Carlos Perez of InfoWorld reports, “Microsoft will add new software, developer tools and capabilities to Office 365 in an attempt to make the cloud applications suite a ‘smarter’ product that is better at helping people interact at work. At its SharePoint Conference, which kicks off in Las Vegas on Monday, Microsoft will demonstrate a new machine learning application code-named Oslo designed to understand how employees work in Office 365 and with whom. Oslo will base its insights on a variety of signals gleaned from how people use Office 365′s components, like Exchange Online for email, OneDrive for Business for storage, Lync Online for IM and video conferencing, SharePoint Online for team collaboration and Yammer for enterprise social networking. Microsoft calls this information the Office Graph.” Read more

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