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News from Day 1 of the Microsoft Build Developer Conference

During the first day of its annual Build developer conference yesterday, Microsoft unveiled a number of new artificial intelligence capabilities that can be integrated into everything from online presentations to business database management. The conference, which is being held in Seattle, is scheduled to run through tomorrow.

During his keynote address, CEO Satya Nadella (pictured above) revealed that the Windows 10 operating system, launched nearly two years ago, is now installed on 500 million devices around the world. Microsoft’s Office 365 suite has also reached a milestone: more than 100 million monthly commercial active users.

Other announcements made yesterday included the launch of a public preview of the Cortana Skills Kit, which lets developers create bots using Microsoft’s intelligent digital assistant, and the debut of Azure IoT Edge, which helps developers bring machine learning and other advanced capabilities to other devices on the Internet of Things.


AI in ‘Every Product and Service’

Microsoft’s vision of artificial intelligence is to make those capabilities “available to everyone, from developers and data scientists to tech enthusiasts and students,” Harry Shum, executive vice president of Microsoft’s AI and research group, said yesterday in a blog post.

Shum said Microsoft now offers 29 different cognitive services to developers, making it possible for them to incorporate AI capabilities in new apps “with just a few lines of code.”

Launched at the 2015 Build conference, Microsoft Cognitive Services is today used by more than 568,000 developers around the world, Shum said. Those services include Bing Custom Search, Custom Vision Service, Custom Decision Service and Video Indexer.

Another intelligent service, the Microsoft Bot Framework, lets developers create ways for people to interact with AI in conversational ways. Announced last year, the framework now has more than 130,000 registered developers.

“We are infusing AI into every product and service we…

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