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Microsoft Expanding its ‘Dyanmics 365’ Apps Lineup

The company has also launched AI-infused apps for sales, customer service and market insights as part of the "Dynamics 365" app line-up

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Microsoft introduced Cortana on Windows Phone four years ago. In Windows 10, it became the core search functionality.Pixabay
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Microsoft is expanding its Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based “Dynamics 365” apps lineup with two new Mixed Reality (MR) business apps.

The new apps — called — “Dynamics 365 Remote Assist” and “Dynamics 365 Layout” — have been added with the intention of merging MR and business applications together.

“With the release of our new AI and mixed reality applications, we are taking another step to empower every organisation on the planet to achieve more through the accelerant of business applications,” Alysa Taylor, Corporate Vice President, Business Applications and Industry, Microsoft wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

The MR business apps will be part of the October release of “Dynamics 365”.

In 2016, Microsoft introduced “Dynamics 365” as a product line of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications to make business apps modern, unified, intelligent and adaptable solutions, integrated with Office 365 and natively built on Microsoft’s Cloud computing service Azure.

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

By bringing together MR and business applications, the company aims to unify systems and have a holistic view of their business, customers and employees.

“Employees need information in context to apply their knowledge and craft. Not only on a 2-D screen – but information and data in context, at the right place and at the right time and mixed reality is a technology uniquely suited to do exactly that,” Taylor added.

The company has also launched AI-infused apps for sales, customer service and market insights as part of the “Dynamics 365” app line-up.

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“The new ‘Dynamics 365 AI’ offering are a new class of AI applications that will deliver out-of-the-box insights by unifying data and infusing it with advanced intelligence to guide decisions and empower organizations to take informed actions,” wrote Taylor.

These insights are easily extensible through the Microsoft’s business analytics service — Power BI, Azure and the Common Data Service, that could enable organizations to address complex scenarios specific to their business. (IANS)

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Microsoft Wants Regulation For Facial Recognition Technology To Start in 2019

Microsoft is one of several companies playing a leading role in developing facial recognition technology

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

Given the potential for abuse of the fast advancing facial recognition technology, governments across the world need to start adopting laws to regulate this technology in 2019, Microsoft President Brad Smith has said.

“Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues,” warned Smith in a blog post on Thursday.

“The time for action has arrived,” he said, adding that the industry must also exercise restraint while using this technology.

Speaking of the benefits of the technology, the Microsoft President mentioned that police in New Delhi recently trialled facial recognition technology and identified almost 3,000 missing children in four days.

Similarly, historians in the US have used the technology to identify the portraits of unknown soldiers in Civil War photographs taken in the 1860s.

Researchers successfully used facial recognition software to diagnose a rare, genetic disease in Africans, Asians and Latin Americans.

And in October, the National Australia Bank designed a proof of concept to enable customers to withdraw money from an Automatic Teller Machine using facial recognition and a PIN.

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Regulation for facial recognition technology must start in 2019: Microsoft. Pixabay

But at the same time, the potential for abuse of this technology is huge, Smith said, adding that certain uses of this technology could lead to biased decisions and discrimination.

Moreover, the widespread use of this technology can lead to new intrusions into people’s privacy, he said.

“The use of facial recognition technology by a government for mass surveillance can encroach on democratic freedoms,” Smith added.

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“While we believe that new laws and regulations are indispensable, we also recognise that they are not a substitute for the responsibility that needs to be exercised by tech companies,” he said.

Microsoft is one of several companies playing a leading role in developing facial recognition technology.

The company, Smith said, would start adopting new principles to manage the issues surrounding facial recognition technology in the first quarter of 2019. (IANS)