Updates from Microsoft Ignite: Bot Framework, AI, Azure and Much More

Conference organized by Microsoft in Orlando - Updates from Microsoft Ignite

The famous Ignite conference organized by Microsoft in Orlando, Florida this year. There were a lot of announcements made by the company related to their future products, new programs, and tools.

The main focus of the company was to show how artificial intelligence can be used to help people in many ways, whether that’s by helping humanitarian organizations or by allowing the access to the tools which make it easy to access machine learning to an increased number of users.

In this article, we will discuss the general availability of Microsoft Bot framework SDKV4 for C# and JavaScript.

We will also include a set of cross-platform command line tools for managing bots, bot services, and channels.

While the whole conference largely targets IT, professionals and users, it also features plenty of developer-related content, which this year is highlighted by cutting-edge artificial intelligence and quantum computing announcements.

Here are the key highlights of the Ignite Event:

  • Quantum Computing

Sometimes it looks difficult to explain how quantum computing will be implemented in the real world. But CEO of Microsoft Company Satya Nadella is trying to use quantum computing in their upcoming products. There are three primary areas on which company is paying attention along with AI and mixed reality. Last year the company revealed a Quantum development kit to help developers get started with the mysterious technology. In this Ignite event. Microsoft introduced an upcoming update to that Quantum Development kit. The team of Microsoft said the update will include a new chemical simulation library developed in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Library. The library can be used in conjunction with NWChem, an open source and high-performance computational chemistry tools funded by the U.S Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Microsoft said the kit will also deliver modern capabilities of language design to programming with its Q# programming language.

  • Microsoft Bot Framework v4

This Framework was launched for public preview at the build in May of this year. Microsoft also announced that the Bot Framework v4SDK is now available for general use. It contains rich, Multilanguage tools for building and connecting intelligent bots using C#, Java, Python and JavaScript languages. The latest version simplifies your experience of the first Bot with a modular and extensible architecture that allows you to pick components and services you need and leverage a rich ecosystem of pluggable extensions.

  • Azure Cognitive Services Update

Azure Cognitive Services is another cloud AI based offering, received its own update. This service helps developers use intelligent algorithms in apps, websites, and bots in order to leverage natural methods of communication such as speech for understanding and interpreting user interactions. Azure Cognitive services will allow you to infuse your apps with powerful pre-ytra8ined models that can help with vision and speech, language and Web search. According to Microsoft official, we have over 1.2 million developers using cognitive Services to deliver AI led experience to their users.

Microsoft will bring new changes to its popular customer relation management software called Microsoft Dynamic 365 which improve the developing process to a great extent.

Microsoft announced the general availability of its speech service which combines into one offering several individual capabilities, like:

  1. Text to Speech
  2. Custom Speech
  3. Speech Translation
  4. Custom Voice
  • Cortana

Developing a big business project that leverage functionality provided by Microsoft’s personal intelligent assistant, Cortana will be getting better thanks to anew Cortana Skills for Enterprise. This new development platform currently available only by invitation will help developers create company-specific skills for Cortana by using known and trusting tools.

  • Azure Machine learning capabilities and Automated AI development

Some major updates announced by Microsoft to the Azure machine learning service to include automated machine learning to identify the most efficient algorithms and optimize model performance like hardware accelerated models for FPGAs and Python SDK that make Azure Machine Learning services accessible from popular IDEs and notebooks.

  • Azure SignalIR General availability

Azure SignalIR Service that was released in preview build is now generally available. The service enables the developers to build apps that support real-time experiences such as chat, stock tickers, and live dashboards without worrying about capacity provisioning, and persistent connections. More than 3 million downloads to date, the signal is a popular ASP.NET library that makes it very simple to add real-time functionality to web page applications.

  • Artificial Intelligence Humanitarian Action

Microsoft introduced the launch of a $40 million, five-year program called AI for Humanitarian Action. It was said in the Ignite event, this project will partner with the non-governmental organization and humanitarian groups to sue AI to help four main global challenges:

  1. Needs for children: AI will ensure the safety and well-being of children
  2. Disaster Alerts: This program will support the ability to anticipate, predict and target
  3. Refugees and displaced people: Enable scalable collaboration in service of the around 68 million displaced people, including refugees.
  4. Human Rights: The most complicated challenges like human rights will be tackled by AI and accelerate breakthrough solutions to help monitor, detect and prevent human right abuses.

Apart from this program, Microsoft unveiled a series of new and updated AI tools for developers and enterprise and companies.

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