Getting Started With Microsoft Cognitive Services - Bing Speech API

Introduction

In this article, we will learn how to get started with Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services – Bing Speech API.

Overview

This is in continuation of my articles with respect to Cognitive Services. I have come across some complicated articles on Cognitive Services, but as I've been working on this service for the last eight months, I thought of writing simple, step by step articles with respect to Cognitive Services.

If you have landed directly on this article, I would recommend you to read the following -

As defined, Cognitive Services provide the best suite for having interactive, automated models of application. It helps to build powerful intelligence into applications to enable natural and contextual interactions.

Bing Speech API, as described by Microsoft, enables speech capabilities on all internet-connected devices. Every major platform including Android, iOS, Windows, and 3rd party IoT devices are supported. It offers industry-leading speech-to-text, text-to-speech, and language understanding capabilities delivered through the cloud.

Microsoft uses Bing Speech API for Windows applications, like Cortana and Skype Translator as well as Android applications, like Bing Torque for Android Wear and Android Phone.

It offers,

  • Speech recognition

    • Converts spoken audio to text in real time irrespective of any audio source.
    • Supports real-time streaming.

  • Speech intent recognition

    • Converts spoken audio to intent that drives actions as programmed.
    • Using LUIS models it parses the intent of the speaker to create actions within the application.

  • Text to speech conversion

    • Converts provided text to spoken audio.
    • It plays an important role when applications need to “talk” to / back to their users.
      Will learn more about Bing Speech APIs in later articles. To start with, let's create cognitive account to Bing Speech using Azure Portal.

Here, let's assume, you have Azure Portal Account. If not, create your free Azure account.

Once done with the account creation, click '+’ => Category, Intelligence + analytics => Services, Cognitive Services APIs.



Fill in the below details.

  • Account Name
    Unique name for Cognitive Bing Speech (preview) account.

  • Subscription
    Free; or in case of any subscription you have, must be selected here.

  • API Type
    Cognitive Services provides a set of awesome APIs. For this article we will go with Bing Speech.

  • Pricing Tier
    As per API type selected, pricing option will be listed. Select anyone among the listed options.

  • Resource Group
    Can select existing Resource group or create new.

    Services

  • Account Name
    bingspeechwithkasam.

  • Subscription
    Have selected my subscription.

  • Resource Group
    Selected existing Resource, name AzureDemo

  • API Type
    Bing Speech API.

    Services

Pricing Tier

For Bing Speech API type selected, the below pricing options are listed. Let's select Free as pricing tier. You can go with other options available in free trial account.

Services

Click on "Legal Terms" option. A blade with detailed terms will be displayed. Read it carefully and then, click "I Agree" => Create.

Services

After successful creation, the following box could be seen in Dashboard (if you opted to pin it, while creating).

Services

Click on Resource groups => AzureDemo (resource group selected) => Overview Bing Speech API type. The Cognitive account created will be listed. Click on account name.

Overview => Will list all details associated with Bing Speech API type Cognitive account.

Endpoint is base URL of RESTful Bing Speech API provided by Microsoft. Will look into it with deep details in coming articles.

Services

Click on Keys under Resource Management. This will list key details (Key 1, Key 2), which we will be using in our application to leverage Bing Speech API Services.

We can also regenerate the Keys by clicking Regenerate Key option, as shown below.

Services

Click on Quick Start for having quick introduction of Cognitive Services, along with API documentation to use Cognitive Bing Speech API type.

Services

Summary

So, we saw how easy it is to get started with Cognitive Services. By now, we saw how effortlessly we can create Cognitive Services Bing Speech API account using Microsoft Azure Portal. We can use these Keys being generated to allow our app to communicate with super intelligent Bing Speech API offerings.

In later articles, we will use the Keys to look at how they can be used in our application.

I would recommend you try this and be ready with Keys. Happy Azure coding !!!