At a high level, there are three primary product offerings from Microsoft, each of which is designed for a specific audience and use case. Each option provides a diverse set of tools, services, and programmatic APIs. In this module, we’ll merely scratch the surface of the options’ capabilities.
Azure Machine Learning is a platform for making predictions. It consists of tools and services that allow you to connect to data to train and test models to find one that will most accurately predict a future result. After you’ve run experiments to test the model, you can deploy and use it in real time via a web API endpoint.
With Azure Machine Learning, you can:
Azure Cognitive Services provides prebuilt machine learning models that enable applications to see, hear, speak, understand, and even begin to reason. Use Azure Cognitive Services to solve general problems, such as analyzing text for emotional sentiment or analyzing images to recognize objects or faces. You don’t need special machine learning or data science knowledge to use these services. Developers access Azure Cognitive Services via APIs and can easily include these features in just a few lines of code.
While Azure Machine Learning requires you to bring your own data and train models over that data, Azure Cognitive Services, for the most part, provides pretrained models so that you can bring in your live data to get predictions on.
Azure Cognitive Services can be divided into the following categories:
Azure Bot Service and Bot Framework are platforms for creating virtual agents that understand and reply to questions just like a human. Azure Bot Service is a bit different from Azure Machine Learning and Azure Cognitive Services in that it has a specific use case. Namely, it creates a virtual agent that can intelligently communicate with humans. Behind the scenes, the bot you build uses other Azure services, such as Azure Cognitive Services, to understand what their human counterparts are asking for.
Bots can be used to shift simple, repetitive tasks, such as taking a dinner reservation or gathering profile information, on to automated systems that might no longer require direct human intervention. Users converse with a bot by using text, interactive cards, and speech. A bot interaction can be a quick question and answer, or it can be a sophisticated conversation that intelligently provides access to services.