Microsoft quietly launched a set of new machine-learning APIs in beta under the “Project Oxford” moniker yesterday. These new APIs allow developers to add face detection and recognition features to their apps, as well as speech recognition with the ability to understand the speaker’s intent. The project also features a vision API for automatically categorizing images and creating smart image crops that always put the subject into the center of the cropped images.
Previously, Microsoft offered a set of somewhat similar APIs under the Bing brand. Bing offers a speech and translator API, for example, but for the most part, these Bing services are somewhat more basic and search-focused than the Project Oxford tools.
To showcase Project Oxford’s Face API, Microsoft built How-Old.net. This site…
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