Microsoft’s Cognitive Services Comes to Azure Media Services in Preview

Microsoft has been developing a set of services for speech, face and emotion recognition.  Known previously as “Project Oxford”, these services have now been bundled as Microsoft Cognitive Services.

Microsoft Project Oxford

For example, the APIs can detect the two faces and the feeling of surprise in this photo.

Microsoft has now announced these services are coming to Azure Media Services, branded as “Azure Media Analytics”.  Azure Media Services is Microsoft’s video and audio encoding service that allows you to encode audio and video and have it served to a mass audience on a variety of formats from mobile phones to broadcast quality. 

A few scenarios for using these new services include:

  • Analysis of customer service or call center audio for emotional content
  • Face detection within security video
  • Analysis of body cams, dashcams, etc. for evidence for policing
  • Extracting text content from video
  • Speech to text transcription of video

Key services that are part of Azure Media Analytics include motion detection, face detection, emotion detection and optical character recognition.

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Microsoft Unveils Face, Speech and Emotion Recognition APIs as Microsoft Cognitive Services

Microsoft has been developing a set of APIs for speech, face and emotion recognition under the banner of Project Oxford for the past several months.  In September, I wrote a blog post that demonstrated how to use their Face Identification APIs to match faces and tag them.  I also wrote a blog post on how to use their OCR service to tag photos and extract text content.   Microsoft has also added new services for recognizing emotions in photos.

Microsoft Project Oxford

These APIs have been available in preview but are now being rolled out in production under the new brand “Microsoft Cognitive Services”.  There is a new web site and pricing is now available for each API.  The APIs will be available on demand as a cloud service. 

Microsoft has also provided a video that shows their vision around using applied artificial intelligence to enhance every day life, in this case for someone who is disabled.

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