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Microsoft Announces AI Updates

Announces a new partnership with Reddit, Bing features, and Seeing AI updates

Today, at an AI event in San Francisco, Microsoft highlighted the progress it is making towards its vision of making artificial intelligence available to everyone and infusing AI into the products and services people use every day. Numerous updates to Cortana, Bing and Office 365 were shared as well as a new partnership between Reddit and Bing. Additionally, announced new features added to the Seeing AI app on iOS and demonstrated AI’s integration with products, like HoloLens, and customers including Cheetah Mobile, UPS and Equadex.

Here’s a look at what was announced:

  • Bing’s newest features, Intelligent Answers, Advanced Image Search, and Conversational Search, all leverage AI to provide the most relevant results and search capabilities.
    • Perspective Engine to help search users make sense of the jumble of numbers we increasingly encounter in the digital world.
  • New hands-free, eyes-free capabilities were added to Cortana to help with email and calendar management as well as the new Skills Suggestion & Chaining capabilities, giving Cortana the ability to understand users’ overall intent and offer the next most relevant skill.
  • New AI capabilities in Office 365 for Outlook, Word and Excel deliver personalized experiences that harness the power of intelligence to help people work smarter and focus on what matters most.
  • A new partnership with Reddit, to bring information from the Reddit community to Bing. This is the first search partnership of its kind and includes three experiences; Reddit Responses, Reddit Community Results and Reddit AMA Discovery, with more to come.
  • Power BI solutions templates for Reddit, combining AI with interactive visual analytics to reveal how different brands are performing across the Reddit platform.
  • Seeing AI received new features including currency and color recognition, audible light detector and expansion to more than 35 countries. The app is free on iOS and designed for people who are blind or have a visual impairment, helping users see more of the world.
  • Updates were made to Cognitive Services, including the general availability of The Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS), and Azure Bot Service among other updates, continuing the commitment of making AI available to everyone.
  • A private preview of a new AI-powered health bot project from Microsoft’s Healthcare NExT initiative designed to enable our healthcare partners to easily create intelligent and compliant healthcare virtual assistants and chatbots, powered by Microsoft Cognitive Services and enriched with authoritative third-party medical content.
  • Intelligent features in the all new Photos app for Windows 10 make it easier to manage, search, and create videos to bring your memories to life.
  • Microsoft also highlighted a new commitment of $50 million over the next five years to grow our AI for Earth program and put artificial intelligence technology in the hands of individuals and organizations around the world who are working to protect our planet. This includes a new partnership with iNaturalist, an online community of citizen scientists recording data on the distribution of Earth’s biodiversity.
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Brian Pereira

Brian Pereira has over two decades of technology journalism experience. He is the former Editor of CHIP and InformationWeek magazines in India. During his successful journalism career, he served India's leading newspapers: The Times of India and Indian Express Newspapers. Brian is also an Aviation enthusiast and gadget geek. He likes all things retro (80s). Write to Brian at: brian9p@gmail.com Twitter: @brian9p Linkedin: https://in.linkedin.com/in/pereirabrian

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