Microsoft launches Video Indexer, Presentation Translator, and other Cognitive Services apps

Today is the first day of Microsoft's Build 2017 developer conference, and the firm made a number of announcements at its day one keynote. Among them were improvements to Cognitive Services, and some new apps and services that include them.

One new web app is Video Indexer, which is aimed at anyone that has a large library of videos. It automatically creates metadata about the media in a number of ways. First, it can transcribe the video in any of the 10 languages that are supported by Microsoft Translator, and after you do that, it can add subtitles to the file.

Another thing that the service will do is detect all of the people in the video using facial recognition. It may also attach a name to the person if they are well-known enough, or you can add a name yourself. The transcription and the facial recognition are included in a search function, so you can skip to the parts of the video that you want to see.

Microsoft is not trying to jumpstart a YouTube competitor with Video Indexer; instead, the video-streaming service is meant to improve discoverability, increase consumer engagement, and increase monetizable value.

Presentation Translator is a new add-in for PowerPoint, and it does exactly what you would expect from the name. It will translate speech in any of the 10 languages supported by Translator, but once it's already in text, you can then translate it to any of the over 60 languages that are supported.

Other new services that are available include Bing Custom Search, Custom Vision Service, and Custom Decision Service. Previews are available today and everyone can use them.

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