Microsoft makes applications smarter with Project Oxford updates

The suite's natural language understanding service has entered public beta

As the cloud and mobile computing revolutions continue trucking along, people are coming to expect greater intelligence from the applications that they use. With people getting more used to taking advantage of things like Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant or Apple's Siri, meanwhile, app developers have a huge opportunity to use similar systems in order to drive engagement. 

Microsoft's Project Oxford is a suite of cloud services designed to help provide that intelligence for applications without requiring developers to build the complicated machine vision and learning algorithms that are necessary for powering those experiences. On Monday, the company announced that Project Oxford's Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) is available as a public beta, making it available to more developers worldwide.

LUIS allows developers to build models for processing natural language input and turn that into actions within their application. With Monday's update, Microsoft has also made more prebuilt models (including those that power a number of its products) available to developers right off the bat. In addition, the service now supports input in Chinese, along with mixed Chinese and English input. 

Developers can also import and export LUIS applications as JSON objects, meaning that they can build an entire model for how something is supposed to work, and then share that across a number of applications, in addition to checking that model into a version control software so teammates can stay on top of what's going on with an application's natural language capabilities. 

It's a tool that Microsoft is using internally to power the company's new GigJam service, which is currently in private beta at a number of companies. With LUIS, GigJam users can say something like "share this with Katherine," and have the system send selected information off to a co-worker. That same power is now available to anyone with this public beta. 

Microsoft also opened up new software development kits on GitHub for Project Oxford. They include tools for using face, computer vision and speech APIs from Project Oxford, and are available under a MIT open source license. That means developers will be able to look over the source code, see how it has evolved over time and even contribute to the code if they have something to add. 

All of this is good news for the company's cloud ambitions, since these services cost money for developers to use in their applications. As those apps become more popular, Microsoft should start earning more money. 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?