Getting Started With Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services Face APIs

Introduction

In this article, you will learn how to get started with Microsoft Azure Cognitive services - Face APIs.

Overview

I have come across many complicated articles with respect to Cognitive Services, but as I've been working on these services for the last six months, it's really not at all complex. Hence, I thought to start with writing a simple, step-by-step article with respect to Cognitive Services.

If you have landed directly on this article, I would also recommend reading the following articles of mine.

As defined, Cognitive Services provide the best suit for having interactive, automated model of application. It helps to build powerful intelligence into applications to enable natural and contextual interactions.
Face API, provided by Microsoft Cognitive Services, helps to detect, analyze, organize the faces in a given image. We can also tag faces in any given photo.

It provides the most mature face algorithms to work with, adding super cool intelligence in building applications. We will learn more about Face APIs in later articles. To start with, let's create a cognitive account to use Face API using Azure Portal.

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

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



Fill in below details.

Account Name - Unique name for Cognitive face account.
Subscription - Free or in case any subscription you have, must be selected here.
API Type - Cognitive Services provide a set of awesome APIs. For this article, we will go with Face API.
Pricing Tier - As per API selected, pricing option will be listed. Select anyone among the listed options.
Resource Group - Can select existing Resource group or create a new one.



Account Name - FaceCongwithKasam.
Subscription - Have selected my subscription.
Resource Group - Created a new resource group named as CodeCognitivewithKasam, for grouping the Cognitive related services.



API Type - Cognitive services provides set of awesome APIs. For this article, we will go with Face API



Currently, service is in Preview and hence only available at West US location. Once we select Face API from list of APIs, the location would get set to ' West US'.



Pricing Tier

For Face API selected, below pricing options are listed . Let's select Standard as pricing tier. You can go with basic, which is free and available in free trial account.



Click on Legal Terms option. Blade with details terms will be displayed. Read it carefully and then Click = > I Agree => Create,



After successful creation, you will be notified with below message.



Click on Resource groups => CodeCognitivewithKasam ( resource group selected) => Overview.

Face API cognitive account created will be listed as seen below. Click on the account name.



Overview => Will list all details associated with Cognitive account.

Endpoint is base URL of Restful Face APIs provided by Microsoft. We will look into it with deep details, in upcoming articles.



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 cognitive face services.

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



Click on Quick Start for having quick introduction of Cognitive services, API documentation, Developer code of conduct, along with, details of SDK available for building apps with cognitive Face APIs .



Summary

How easy it is to get started with Cognitive Services. By now, we saw how seamlessly we created Cognitive Services Face API account using Microsoft Azure Portal.

We can use these Keys, being generated, to communicate with our app with powerful Cognitive Services Face APIs.
In later article will use these Keys and look into how this could be used in our application.

I recommend trying this and being ready with Keys.

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