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Microsoft Brings “Cortana Skills Kit” For Developers

Additional features include control via Azure Active Directory over when skills are deployed and who can access them

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Microsoft's machine learning framework goes open source. Pixabay
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To help businesses create custom voice apps for their employees and users, Microsoft has launched the “Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise” for developers.

The kit will help enterprise developers use digital assistant’s natural-language processing to create custom voice skills for businesses.

Currently available by invitation only, the development platform was unveiled at “Microsoft Ignite” conference in Orlando, Florida on Monday.

“At heart, we are about providing valuable assistance to users throughout their day. That assistance takes different forms depending on where the users are in their day and what they are trying to do,” said Javier Soltero, Microsoft Corporate Vice President in charge of Cortana.

“It’s important for enterprises to be able to enable their workforces to use Cortana to perform company-specific tasks,” he added.

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Currently available by invitation only, the development platform was unveiled at “Microsoft Ignite” conference in Orlando, Florida on Monday. Wikimedia Commons

According to Vivek Goswami, a programme manager on Soltero’s team, the platform is powered by the Azure Bot Service and leverages Language Understanding from Azure Cognitive Services, allowing developers to create company-specific skills for Cortana using known and trusted tools.

Additional features include control via Azure Active Directory over when skills are deployed and who can access them.

Also Read- Paralyzed Patients Start Walking Following A New Treatment

“The specific skills that enterprises will create for Cortana remain to be revealed,” noted Goswami.

As a proof of concept, IT developers at Microsoft used the enterprise platform to create an IT help desk skill that enables Cortana to file tickets for employees who are having computer problems and connect them to someone who can help. (IANS)

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Microsoft And NASA Come Together to Make A New Spacecraft

Microsoft said that NASA was using the HoloLens to find the best places on Mars to build bases.

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A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. Microsoft says it’s requiring its U.S. suppliers to offer their employees at least 12 weeks paid leave to care for a new child. The company announced the new parental leave policy Thursday. VOA

Engineers at American aerospace company Lockheed Martin are using Microsoft mixed reality smartglass HoloLens to build NASA’s Orion spacecraft designed to transport humans to destinations such as the Moon and eventually Mars, and return them safely back to Earth, the MIT Technology Review reported.

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor building NASA’s Orion spaceship.

The technicians at the firm use the HoloLens to learn a task or check the directions in 15-minute increments rather than for a constant feed of instructions.

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A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge. VOA

For the team constructing the heat shield skeleton of Orion, the new technology takes the place of a 1,500-page binder full of written work instructions, thereby helping them to perform tasks faster, said the report on Tuesday.

NASA’s partnership with Microsoft on HoloLens is not new.

In 2015, the US space agency announced that it was teaming up with the software giant to develop Sidekick, a new project using commercial technology to empower astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

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NASA charts roadmap for human missions to Moon, Mars. Pixabay

Sidekick uses Microsoft HoloLens to provide virtual aid to astronauts working off the Earth, for the Earth. A pair of the devices was launched to the ISS on December 6, 2015.

Also Read: IAU Names Two Lunar Craters to Honour NASA’s Apollo 8

In 2017, Microsoft said that NASA was using the HoloLens to find the best places on Mars to build bases that would one day house astronauts exploring the planet.

Rather than putting users in a fully computer-generated world, as virtual reality does, HoloLens allows users to place 3D digital models in the room alongside them. (IANS)

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