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Microsoft: The Dawn of the Cognitive Services Era


MEO, the television, Internet, telephone, and mobile quadruple play brand of Portugal Telecom, created a data-driven service to suggest which VOD content that a customer might wish to view.

The New Frontier of Cognitive Services

Europe is experiencing an influx of refugees and needs to accommodate these non-native speakers. Tele2 and Microsoft teamed up to address this challenge. They integrated the Translator API and the Bing Speech API into their network. This allows for real-time translation services in both their fixed and mobile phones. Tele2 is now reaching out to potential customers and are prepared to launch the service soon.

SoftBank and Microsoft collaborated with augmenting Pepper, a robot designed for human interactions, with these APIs. Pepper, in retail stores throughout Japan, will have Emotional Intelligence – understanding human sentiment and recognizing customers via facial recognition. Pepper will use cognitive services to correlate product and service recommendations to gender, context, cultural and situational context. From the customer’s perspective by understanding their emotions and reacting accordingly, Pepper will exhibit empathy. Microsoft Japan’s, Takuya Hirano explains, “Pepper will be able to recognize a customer who comes to the [store a] second time and to remember his purchase history… [and] offer a more personalized service. With the Microsoft Translator tool, Pepper will … play the role of interpreter between foreign clients and [the] Japanese trader.”

This easy accessibility to Cognitive Services is new. Companies are just beginning to scratch the surface of the new technology.  Nevertheless, dramatic business impacts can be achieved now. For example, with too many video on demand (VOD) choices, customers experience confusion and either delay their selection, or reject all choices. MEO, the television, Internet, telephone, and mobile quadruple play brand of Portugal Telecom, created a data-driven service to suggest which VOD content that a customer might wish to view. “The results are very impressive. The Microsoft Cognitive Services Recommendations API has helped us take a big step in improving our user experience and building more loyalty to our services,” reports Jorge Rosa of MEO, Head of TV Strategy and Interactive Services. VOD consumption increased dramatically and customers began spending longer time engaging in VOD services. More premium content was purchased.





Quick Start

You can start leveraging Cognitive Services today. Take advantage of the power of data, the cloud and intelligence. Microsoft makes it easy to begin by making the APIs accessible here and by offering workshops to provide further assistance.

Microsoft created the Bot Framework to make it easier for developers to build and connect great Bots to users. The framework is integrated with the Cortana Intelligence Suite. Cortana is already trained with conversational styles that are culturally dependent. For example, for U.K. users who value self-deprecating humor, she uses playful sarcasm in her responses if she senses you’re fooling around.



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