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Microsoft announces new Azure AI and machine learning services

Microsoft is making a range of pre-Build announcements today, and among them are new AI and machine learning services for Azure. The company says that over 1.3 million developers use Azure Cognitive Services, and it's now announcing a new category called Decision.

As you can probably guess, it's meant to provide recommendations to help people to make decisions. The feature includes Personalizer, using reinforcement learning from experiences and informed recommendations. Other updates to Cognitive Services include Ink Recognizer and Form Recognizer, which do exactly what it says in their names. On top of that, cognitive services in Azure Search are now generally available.

“We are able to take reinforcement learning and ship it in a way that’s accessible to developers and doesn't require a data scientist,” said Lance Olson, diector of program management for applied AI at Microsoft. “That will be very impactful for customers.”

Microsoft also announced the general availability of ONNX Runtime support for Nvidia Tensor RT nd Intel nGraph, along with hardware-accelerated inferencing models on FPGAs. There are also new MLOps features for Azure DevOps, automated machine learning advancements, and a new visual machine learning interface.

Another announcement today is Azure Blockchain Service, which is designed to simplify creating new blockchain networks. The company also announced that J.P. Morgan's Ethereum platform called Quorum is the first to available on the new service.

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