What is Artificial Intelligence?

You could ask the question to 100 different people and probably get 100 different answers but in its most general sense AI refers to the ability to have computers answer difficult questions in relevant timescales to amplify human capabilities.

AI is about leveraging computers at scale to do the things they do best: among other things – to store and process huge amounts of data quickly and without fatigue, to recall the data perfectly, to make calculations, and to pay attention to minute details.

Customer Story: KPMG


A recent customer story from a Microsoft customer using Azure Cognitive Services features KPMG, a global network of independent member firms offering audit, tax, and advisory services. The challenge KPMG was facing was reviewing and cataloging hundreds—of thousands—of hours of recorded calls. KPMG used Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services to build a new risk analytics solution. This solution uses AI to streamline call transcription, translation, and fraud analytics, cutting time, cost, and effort by as much as 80 percent. One KPMG client has already used the solution to increase the effectiveness of its compliance program while reducing its overall cost.

When we first started in this space, it took us 12 to 14 weeks to get even limited results with our on-premises solution. Today, we can often deliver useful, insightful results within two to four hours. -Steve Wells: Director, Forensic Data Analytics KPMG

Azure Cognitive Services: What Can AI Do?

Decision: Make smarter decisions faster.

  • Anomaly Detector 
    Easily embed anomaly detection capabilities into your apps so users can quickly identify problems. Through an API, Anomaly Detector Preview ingests time-series data of all types and selects the best-fitting detection model for your data to ensure high accuracy.
  • Content Moderator
    Enhance your ability to detect potentially offensive or unwanted images through machine learning-based classifiers, custom lists, and optical character recognition (OCR).
  • Personalizer
    Give users relevant experiences that improve over time, based on their behavior. Unlike recommendation engines that offer a few options from a large catalog, Personalizer presents the single best outcome for a user, every time they interact with your app.

Language: Extract meaning from unstructured text.

  • Immersive Reader 
    Immersive Reader is an Azure Cognitive Service that lets you embed text reading and comprehension capabilities into applications. Help users of any age and reading ability with features like reading aloud, translating languages, and focusing attention through highlighting and other design elements.
  • Language Understanding
    A machine learning-based service to build natural language understanding into apps, bots, and IoT devices. Quickly create enterprise-ready, custom models that continuously improve.
  • Text Analytics
    Detect sentiment, key phrases, and named entities.
  • Translator Text
    Microsoft Translator API is a neural machine translation service that developers can easily integrate into their applications websites, tools, or any solution requiring multi-language support such as website localization, e-commerce, customer support, messaging applications, internal communication, and more.

Speech: Integrate speech processing into apps and services.

  • Speech to Text
    Use Speech to Text—part of the Speech service—to swiftly convert audio into text from a variety of sources. Customize models to overcome common speech recognition barriers, such as unique vocabularies, speaking styles, or background noise. Make audio more accessible by helping everyone follow and engage in conversations in real-time.
  • Text to Speech
    Use Text to Speech —part of the Speech service— to build apps and services that speak naturally. Bring your solutions to life with dozens of voices in a wide range of languages. Create lifelike voices with the Neural Text to Speech capability built on breakthrough research in speech synthesis technology. Customize models to create a unique voice for your solution and brand.
  • Speech Translation
    The Speech Translator API is a cloud-based automatic translation service that enables developers to add end-to-end, real-time, speech translations to their applications or services.
  • Speaker Recognition 
    Identify who is speaking. The API can be used to determine the identity of an unknown speaker. Input audio of the unknown speaker is paired against a group of selected speakers, and in the case there is a match found, the speaker’s identity is returned

Vision: Identify & analyze content within images, videos, and digital ink

  • Computer Vision
    Boost content discoverability, accelerate text extraction and create products that more people can use by embedding vision capabilities in your apps. Use visual data processing to label content, from objects to concepts, extract printed and handwritten text, recognize familiar subjects like brands and landmarks, and moderate content. No machine learning expertise is required.
  • Custom Vision
    Customize and embed state-of-the-art computer vision for specific domains. Build frictionless customer experiences, optimize manufacturing processes, accelerate digital marketing campaigns—and more. No machine learning expertise is required.
  • Face
    Embed facial recognition into your apps for a seamless and highly secured user experience. No machine learning expertise is required. Features include face detection that perceives faces and attributes in an image; person identification that matches an individual in your private repository of up to 1 million people; perceived emotion recognition that detects a range of facial expressions like happiness, contempt, neutrality, and fear; and recognition and grouping of similar faces in images. Watch our LIVE demo.
  • Form Recognizer 
    Accelerate your business processes by automating information extraction. Form Recognizer applies advanced machine learning to accurately extract text, key/value pairs, and tables from documents. With just a few samples, Form Recognizer tailors its understanding to your documents, both on-premises and in the cloud.
  • Ink Recognizer 
    Create application experiences that combine pen and paper interaction with powerful digital capabilities. Recognize digital handwriting, common shapes, and the layout of inked documents for various scenarios like notetaking, form-filling, content search, and document annotation.
  • Video Indexer
    Automatically extract metadata—such as spoken words, written text, faces, speakers, celebrities, emotions, topics, brands, and scenes—from video and audio files. Access the data within your application or infrastructure, make it more discoverable, and use it to create new over-the-top (OTT) experiences and monetization opportunities.

Web Search: Find what you’re looking for from the world-wide-web.

  • Bing Autosuggest
    With Bing Autosuggest API v7, help users complete queries faster by adding intelligent type-ahead capabilities to your app or website. Empower users to type less and do more with automated and complete search suggestions.
  • Bing Custom Search
    The Bing Custom Search API gives you a powerful ranking, a global-scale search index, and document processing with a fast, simple setup. The core technology works in four steps—by identifying on-topic sites and images, providing automatic query suggestions, applying the Bing ranker, and delivering relevant search results. Adjust the parameters and access usage insights anytime.
  • Bing Entity Search
    Harness the power of the web with the Bing Entity Search API. You can enrich your app by infusing knowledge search into existing content. Bing Entity Search API will identify the most relevant entity based on your searched term, spanning multiple entity types such as famous people, places, movies, TV shows, video games, books, and even local businesses near you.
  • Bing Image Search
    With Bing Image Search API v7, help users scour the web for images. Results include thumbnails, full image URLs, publishing website info, image metadata, and more. With the API v7, discover new sorting and filtering options that simplify finding specific results in image searches and enable the paging of results.

Other Businesses Using Azure Cognitive Services

copy-of-copy-of-ai-cs-1 has rocketed to prominence in the e-commerce world in the few years since its 2014 founding. Headquartered in Hoboken, New Jersey, the Walmart subsidiary applies the innovation that has fueled its rise to groundbreaking solutions for other companies under the Walmart umbrella. Wanting to offer quick and easy self-service options to further enhance the customer service experience it provides, created a customer care chatbot with Microsoft Bot Framework. In the year after deploying the bot, saved money, but more importantly, it gained the ability to serve customers faster—optimizing customer care while reducing operational budget. Read More


Human trafficking is a growing, global industry. But one grassroots nonprofit, Seattle Against Slavery, is determined to turn the tide. It uses Microsoft Azure to help empower survivor support organizations and law enforcement agencies to infiltrate online prostitution marketplaces, disrupt exploitation, engage and deter buyers, and connect with victims to provide a way out. As a result, its partners can achieve 10 times the impact with the same resources. And for the trafficking victims they help, that can mean the difference between life and death. Read More

Start Your Own AI Journey With Accellis Technology Group

67% of business either have already or want to adopt AI (source: IDC) but for most midmarket businesses the real question is how? On the one hand, you need to have a challenge or question already in mind and, on the other, you usually need to have or be able to build large datasets. Many businesses have neither of these.

And that’s where most AI journeys start.

Accellis Technology Group is a Microsoft Gold Partner in Midmarket Cloud and is a Microsoft Silver Partner in Application Development. We help organizations of all sizes and maturity levels discover, plan, and build AI into their businesses. We help you ask the right questions and build your datasets and tools.

We amplify human ingenuity with intelligent technology in three ways.


These capabilities (reasoning, understanding, interacting) are often layered together in an AI solution. For instance, at Accellis, we are able to ingest machine and text data to corollate events, spot anomalies, proactively resolve issues, and notify decision makers about relevant details – all automatically. This translates to less manpower managing more clients with greater precision and speed.

Start to finish, AI journeys are a three-part consulting engagement.


Questions about Cognitive Services? For a limited time, ENVISION AI consulting engagements are free.

Accellis Technology Group is a Microsoft Gold Partner in Midmarket Cloud and Silver Partner in Application Development. Our staff holds a variety of industry leading certifications including Azure Administrator, Azure Solutions Architect Expert, MCSE, VCP, CCNA, CEH, OSCP, CISSP, and more. Together, we can build something extraordinary. Fill out the form and a Microsoft expert will contact you today.


Credit on some text, graphics, colors, fonts: Microsoft.

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