Friday, January 28, 2022

Overview of Cognitive Services

Microsoft’s Azure offers a great deal of features and capabilities.  One of them is Cognitive Services, where users can access a variety of APIs to help mimic a human response.  Some features include converting text to spoken speech, speech to text, and even the equivalent human understanding of a spoken phrase.  These services are divided into 4 major categories, as seen below.  Please note “Computer Vision” and “Custom Vision” sound very similar but their capabilities are different, as outlined in the “Vision” section below.



  1. Anomaly Detector: Identify potential problems in time series data.
  2. Content Moderator: Detect potentially offensive or unwanted content.
  3. Personalizer: Create rich, personalized experiences for every user.



  1. LUIS (Language Understanding Intelligent Service)
  2. QnA Maker: Create a conversational question and answer layer over your data.
  3. Text Analytics: Detect sentiment, key phrases, and named entities.
  4. Translator: Detect and translate more than 90 supported languages.



  1. Speech to Text: Transcribe audible speech into readable, searchable text.
  2. Text to Speech: Convert text to lifelike speech for more natural interfaces.
  3. Speech Translation: Integrate real-time speech translation into your apps.
  4. Speaker Recognition: Identify and verify the people speaking based on audio.



  1. Computer Vision: Analyze content in images.
    1. OCR: Optical Character Recognition
    2. Image Analysis: extracts visual features from images (objects, faces, adult content
    3. Spatial Analysis: Analyzes the presence and movement of people on a video feed and produces events that other systems can respond to.


  1. Custom Vision: Customize image recognition to fit your business needs.
    1. Image Classification: applies label(s) to an image
    2. Object Detection: returns coordinates in image where applied label(s) can be found.

Note: Model can be exported for use:


  1. Face: Detect and identify people and emotions in images.
  2. Video Indexer: Analyze the visual and audio channels of a video, and index its content.
  3. Form Recognizer: Extract text, key-value pairs and tables from documents.
  4. Ink Recognizer: Recognize digital ink and handwriting, and pinpoint common shapes.