Yesterday, Microsoft announced Azure ML, a new machine learning service on the cloud-based Azure platform. The service will allow users to build big data-based apps and APIs to predict future events. The platform uses machine learning capabilities already seen in Microsoft’s Bing and Xbox, using predefined workflows and templates to increase the speed and usability of machine learning infrastructure.
Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president at Microsoft, and the man in charge of the Azure ML, discussed the powerful predictive learning capabilities of Machine Learning. “Traditional data analysis let you predict the future. Machine learning lets you change the future,” he said. He also added that “The cloud solves the last mile problem”, allowing machine learning projects the kind of scalability that has previously harboured progress.
Sirosh envisions the future of Azure ML as a “a virtuous cycle between data and APIs. People have data. They bring it to [Azure ML] to create APIs. People hook into applications then feed data back to the cloud and fuel more APIs,” he explained.
Azure ML is currently in confidential preview, but a few example of its current usage have been made public. Max 451, for example, is currently using it in the field of retail to predict which products are going to be popular with customers, and adjust stock accordingly. Carnegie Mellon University are using to predict and mitigate activities in campus buildings and reduce energy cost.
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Azure ML will enter public preview next month, with an official release date yet to be announced.
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