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Microsoft aims to make artificial intelligence mainstream

11 May 2017

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said Wednesday, May 10, United States time, tech developers have a responsibility to prevent a dystopian "1984" future as the U.S. technology titan unveiled a fresh initiative to bring artificial intelligence into the mainstream. It will enable third-party developers to create new skills, and it includes the possibility of porting the existing Alexa skills on the platform.

Technology giant Microsoft announced that its Windows 10 has now reached 500 million monthly active devices. The vast majority of those 500 million devices running Windows 10 are likely personal computers.

At its Build 2017 developer conference in Seattle, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 is now running on 500 million monthly active devices.

At the center of much of Microsoft's Day, One keynote sat the company's trojan horse into the next wave of computing, Cortana.

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In an effort to beat Amazon and Google, Microsoft announced it has inked partnerships with HP and Intel to bring Cortana-powered voice-activated speakers to the market in the near future. This is available on Windows 10, Android, iOS and the new Cortana-powered Harman Kardon Invoke speaker, however, the Cortana Skills kit is only available in the us right now.

The company showed an app called Story Remix that lets multiple users share video and photos taken on phones and combines that with special effects and music. Unfortunately, details aren't available about the smart speaker.

Microsoft also addressed four remotely exploitable vulnerabilities in its Server Message Block version 1 file-sharing protocol with the latest set of patches.

The Nvidia service will let developers use frameworks like CNTK (from Microsoft), MXNet (promoted by Amazon) or TensorFlow (from Alphabet) for "deep learning", a type of AI that involves training artificial neural networks on lots of data and then getting them to make decisions based on that. For instance, Azure Batch AI Training, announced yesterday and now available in private preview, will allow developers to "train their own deep neural networks", according to Shum.

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The Azure SQL Database improvements include a new Managed Instance private preview, general availability of Threat Detection and preview of Graph support, general availability of Visual Studio 2017 for Mac, support for containers and increased DocuSign support. The app will be available for both iOS and Android.

Microsoft has announced that the Visual Studio coding platform is now open for Mac users. A Microsoft Garage project, the plug-in uses Translation APIs to translate content from any Powerpoint presentation into 10 different languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish).

Microsoft is adding new intelligence capabilities to Azure, its cloud platform for enterprise customers. The plugin can also provide translated subtitles in real-time.

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