Microsoft unveils AI development platform for Windows 10

Microsoft unveils AI development platform for Windows 10

Microsoft is unveiling a raft of new artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities for Windows developers.

Microsoft is working on a new platform that will make it easier for developers to create AI-based Windows 10 apps and experiences. The new capabilities will be available in an update from the company.

Through the platform, developers will be able to integrate pre-trained machine learning models into their software. These will provide benefits such as low-latency, reduced operational costs, and greater flexibility.

“Every developer that builds apps on Windows 10 will be able to use AI to deliver more powerful and engaging experiences,” said Microsoft in a statement.

“By using instruction set optimisations on modern CPUs, hardware acceleration on GPUs that support DirectX 12, and a driver model for purpose-built AI processors in the future, we can deliver performance and efficiency on the broadest range of form factors.

“With the update, developers can use the AI platform across the Windows device family, including IoT edge devices, HoloLens, 2-in-1s, and desktop PCs, workstations, servers, and in data centres.”

Key partnerships

Ian Buck, VP and general manager of accelerated computing at GPU giant NVIDIA, said the platform will bring artificial intelligence technology to the masses.

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“AI acceleration on Window 10 PCs is the latest evidence of how artificial intelligence is becoming ubiquitous in our everyday lives. NVIDIA is delighted to be partnering with Microsoft to enhance the PC experience for users worldwide,” he said.

Microsoft has been working with NVIDIA to drive research across areas such as speech recognition, machine reading/comprehension, and computer vision.

Intel has also chipped in its VPU technology to aid Microsoft’s AI efforts. Remi El-Ouazzane, VP and general manager of Intel’s New Technologies Group, said the technology “will deliver increasingly sophisticated AI experiences for the hundreds of millions of Microsoft users worldwide”.

Gary Brotman, director of product management of AI and machine learning at Qualcomm, explained that the chipmaker is also collaborating with Microsoft on the platform. He said that the new system would help “developers accelerate on-device AI performance on Windows laptops with the Snapdragon 835 AI Engine”.

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Internet of Business says

Steady as she goes in Microsoft’s subtle refocusing on AI, alongside rivals such as IBM, Oracle, Apple, SAP, Google, and, which have also moved cognitive services into the heart of their product portfolios.

For the average user, this new focus can be found everywhere in enhancements to Microsoft’s product suite. For example, there are new AI features within Office 365, while even the Windows 10 Photo app includes AI-enhanced functionality. 

Microsoft’s facial recognition software, Windows Hello, uses AI to speed up the login process, and then there is Bing Search – and Cortana, Microsoft’s entry in the increasingly competitive digital assistant space.

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