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Microsoft Opens its Machine Learning Framework For All

Infer.NET was used to publish hundreds of research papers using a variety of fields, everything from information retrieval to healthcare

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Microsoft launches e-commerce portal for Telangana's handloom weavers. Pixabay

Global tech giant Microsoft has opened its cross-platform frameworks Infer.NET — a machine learning engine used in Office, Xbox and Azure — for one and all worldwide.

“We’re extremely excited today to open source Infer.NET on GitHub under the permissive MIT license for free use in commercial applications,” Yordan Zaykov, Principal Research Software Engineering Lead at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post on Friday.

Developed in 2014 by Microsoft’s research lab in Cambridge, Infer.NET was initially envisioned as a research tool and later in 2008 was released for academic use.

Infer.NET enables a model-based approach to machine learning. It lets users incorporate domain knowledge into their model.

The framework can then build a bespoke machine learning algorithm directly from that model.

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

“This means that instead of having to map your problem onto a pre-existing learning algorithm that you’ve been given, Infer.NET actually constructs a learning algorithm for you, based on the model you’ve provided,” Zaykov said.

He noted that the Infer.NET team is looking forward to engaging with the open-source community in developing. Infer.NET will become a part of ML.NET — the machine learning framework for .NET developers.

“We have already taken several steps towards integration with ML.NET, like setting up the repository under the .NET Foundation and moving the package and namespaces to Microsoft.ML.Probabilistic. Infer.NET will extend ML.NET for statistical modelling and online learning,” Zaykov said.

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Infer.NET was used to publish hundreds of research papers using a variety of fields, everything from information retrieval to healthcare.

In 2012 Infer.NET even won a Patents for Humanity award for aiding research in epidemiology, genetic causes of disease, deforestation and asthma. (IANS)

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AI Helping Differently-abled to Become More Independent: Microsoft

The showcase will feature technology-based projects from non-profit organisations, assistive technologies developed by leading technology companies, Microsoft partners as well as Microsoft solutions, the company added

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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. VOA

Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions are empowering differently-abled people with tools that support independence and productivity, a top Microsoft executive said here on Friday.

The software giant last year launched its five-year, $25 million “AI for Accessibility” programme that harnesses the power of AI to amplify human capability for the more than one billion people around the world with a disability.

“At Microsoft, we believe there are no limits to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of everyone who uses it,” Sriram Rajamani, Managing Director, Microsoft Research India, said on the inaugural day of the two-day “Accessibility Summit – Empowering for Inclusion” here.

Real time speech-to-text transcription, computer vision capabilities and predictive text functionality are just a few examples of how AI is useful to people with disabilities.

Microsoft
Logo of Microsoft outside it’s office. Pixabay

Inaugurating the summit, Shakuntala Doley Gamlin, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities at the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, said that a strong public-private partnership can go a long way in empowering the differently-abled with equal access and opportunity.

Microsoft hosted the summit in collaboration with the National Association of the Deaf and National Centre for Promotion of Employment of Disabled People (NCPEPD), a non-profit organisation.

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The two-day conference will also combine a rich mix of master classes and access to Microsoft’s “AI for Accessibility” resources for the developer community with a showcase of inclusive technology, Microsoft said.

The showcase will feature technology-based projects from non-profit organisations, assistive technologies developed by leading technology companies, Microsoft partners as well as Microsoft solutions, the company added. (IANS)