Understand Azure Cognitive Services

Pre-requisite Knowledge

Before we start with an understanding of what Azure Cognitive Services are, we should have:

Introduction of Azure Cognitive Services

Azure service is a service consisting of built in APIs and SDK’s by Microsoft which are available for IT development teams to use in applications. Since these API’s are readily available by Microsoft the developer can build the intelligent applications without having SI or data science skills. These API’s consist of machine learning algorithms which return the result to the application. The developer has to just consume these API’s by REST calls over the internet and start to use it.
The popular cases to use these services are – if we need to capture the emotions of people from images, translate the text to image or see the image from text, convert the speech into text or text to speech, understand the natural language and process the request etc.
These services are mainly grouped in five categories:
  1. Decision – Build apps that surface recommendations for informed and efficient decision-making.
  2. Vision - It analyzes the image and videos.
  3. Speech -These services help in improving the speech recognition and speech/text convertors.
  4. Search – It is to apply machine learning to web searches
  5. Language – Understand the language (LUIS), text analytics, translator, verify the intent from the language words.
Now, we will see the services one by one with the above categories in short:
  1. Decision APIs

    1. Anomaly Protector – Monitors and detects the anomalies in a series of data.
    2. Content Moderator - Monitors possible offensive, undesirable, and risky content.
    3. Personalizer - Choose the best experience to show to your users, learning from their real-time behavior.

  2. Vision APIs

    1. Computer Vision – It has advanced algorithms for processing image and return information.
    2. Custom Vision Service – Allows us to create the custom image classifiers.
    3. Face API – It has advanced face algorithms, enabling face attribute detection and recognition.
    4. Form Recognizer – Form Recognizer identifies and extracts key-value pairs and table data from form documents; then outputs structured data including the relationships in the original file.
    5. Ink Recognizer – Recognize and analyze digital ink stroke data, shapes and handwritten content, and output a document structure with all recognized entities.
    6. Video Indexer – Enables you to extract insights from your video.

  3. Speech APIs

    1. Speech Services – It helps to enable the speech features to the applications.
    2. Speaker Recognition API – Provides algorithms for speaker identification and verification.
    3. Translator Speech – It is a machine translation service.

  4. Search APIs

    It is integrated with the Bing search. It consists of APIs like Bing news search, video search, web search, autosuggest, custom search, entity search, image search, visual search, local business search, spell check service. These services provide the results based on the user’s query.

  5. Language APIs

    1. Language Understanding (LUIS) – It is one of famous APIs and generally used in chatbot applications. It allows your application to understand what a person wants in their own words.
    2. QnA maker – It allows you to build the application based on the answers to questions,  like FAQs.
    3. Text Analytics – It is natural language processing to extract the sentiment analysis, key phrase and language detection.
    4. Translator Text - Provides for machine-based text translation in near real-time.
    5. Video Indexer – Using this service, we can extract the insights from video.
Next - Free Trials
  • https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/cognitive-services/welcome
  • https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/services/cognitive-services/
  • https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/services/cognitive-services/directory/
  • https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/try/cognitive-services/my-apis/
  • https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/cognitive-services/computer-vision/#celebrities-landmarks


In this article we have learned the overview of Azure Cognitive Services.