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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
A seasoned developer's little discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


Microsoft Cognitive Services - powerful algorithms to build custom apps with just a few lines of code

Microsoft Cognitive Services is a collection of the following APIs:
  1. Academic Knowledge API  helps to interpret user queries for academic intent and retrieve rich information from the Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG). The MAG knowledge base is a web-scale heterogeneous entity graph comprised of entities that model scholarly activities: field of study, author, institution, paper, venue, and event. The MAG data is mined from the Bing web index as well as an in-house knowledge base from Bing.
  2. Bing Autosuggest API lets partners send a partial search query to Bing and get back a list of suggested queries that other users have searched on 
  3. Bing Image Search API provides a similar (but not exact) experience to Bing.com/Images 
  4. Bing News Search API provides a similar (but not exact) experience to Bing.com/News 
  5. Bing Speech API is a cloud-based API that provides advanced algorithms to process spoken language. With this API, developers can add speech driven actions to their applications including real-time interaction with the user. This REST API offers industry-leading speech-to-text, text-to-speech, and language understanding capabilities delivered through the cloud. Microsoft has used 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.
  6. Bing Spell Check API which performs contextual spell checking for any text and provides inline suggestions for misspelled words. Current spell-checkers rely on verifying spelling and grammar against dictionary-based rule sets which get updated and expanded periodically. In contrast, the Bing team has developed a web-based spell-checker that leverages machine learning and statistical machine translation to dynamically train a constantly-evolving and highly-contextual algorithm to provide spell checking on-demand for almost any word or phrase that exists on the web.
  7. Bing Video Search API provides a similar (but not exact) experience to Bing.com/Videos 
  8. Bing Web Search API provides a similar (but not exact) experience to Bing.com/Search 
  9. Microsoft Computer Vision API is a cloud-based API that provides developers with access to advanced algorithms for processing images and returning information. By uploading an image or specifying an image URL, Microsoft Computer Vision algorithms can analyze visual content in different ways based on inputs and user choices. Computer Vision API offers image “tagging” based on more than 2000 recognizable objects, living beings and actions. In cases where tags may be ambiguous or not common knowledge, the API response provides “hints” to clarify the meaning of the tag in context of a known setting. 
  10. Microsoft Emotion API allows you to build more personalized apps with Microsoft’s cloud-based emotion recognition algorithm. The Emotion API takes an image as an input, and returns the confidence across a set of emotions for each face in the image, as well as bounding box for the face, from the Face API. The emotions detected are happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, fear, contempt, disgust or neutral. 
  11. Microsoft Entity Linking Intelligence Service is a web service created to help developers with tasks relating to entity linking.Sometimes in different contexts, a word might be used as a named entity, a verb, or other word form within a given sentence. For example, in the case where “times” is a named entity, it still may refer to two separately distinguishable entities, such as “The New York Times” or “Times Square”. Given a specific paragraph within a document, the Entity Linking Intelligence Service will recognize and identify each separate entity based on its context. 
  12. Microsoft Face API is a cloud-based API that provides the most advanced algorithms for face detection and recognition. The Face API provides high precision face location detection that can detect up to 64 human faces in an image. Face detection can be done by uploading an entire JPEG file or by specifying a URL of an existing JPEG image on the web.
  13. Microsoft Knowledge Exploration Service (KES) offers a fast and effective way to add interactive search and refinement to applications. With KES, you can build a compressed index from structured data, author a grammar that interprets natural language queries, and provide interactive query formulation with auto-completion suggestions.
  14. Linguistic Analysis APIs provide access to natural langauge processing (NLP) tools that identify the structure of text. The current release provides three types of analysis: Sentence separation and tokenization, Part-of-speech tagging, Constituency parsing
  15. Language Understanding Intelligent Services (LUIS) is designed to enable you to quickly deploy an HTTP endpoint that will take the sentences you send it and interpret them in terms of the intention they convey and the key entities that are present. One of the key problems in human-computer interactions is the ability of the computer to understand what a person wants, and to find the pieces of information that are relevant to their intent. Once your application is deployed and traffic starts to flow into the system, LUIS uses active learning to improve itself.
  16. The Recommendations API built with Microsoft Azure Machine Learning helps your customer discover items in your catalog. Customer activity in your digital store is used to recommend items and to improve conversion in your digital store. The recommendation engine may be trained by uploading data about past customer activity or by collecting data directly from your digital store. When the customer returns to your store you will be able to feature recommended items from your catalog that may increase your conversion rate.
  17. Microsoft Speaker Recognition APIs are cloud-based APIs that provide the most advanced algorithms for speaker verification and speaker identification.
  18. Text Analytics API is a suite of text analytics services built with Azure Machine Learning currently offering APIs for sentiment analysis, key phrase extraction and topic detection for English text, as well as language detection for 120 languages
  19. Microsoft Video API is a cloud-based API that provides advanced algorithms for tracking faces, detecting motion, stabilizing and creating thumbnails from video.
  20. Microsoft Web Language Model API (WebLM) is a REST-based cloud service providing state-of-the-art tools for natural language processing. Using this API, your application can leverage the power of big data through language models trained on web-scale corpora collected by Bing in the EN-US market. 
The following Bing APIs are generally available: Bing Autosuggest API, Bing Spell Check API, Bing Search APIs. These Bing APIs are available as standalone services, and general availability pricing went into effect on July 1, 2016.

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