Connexions 2016 – The future is now


The first day of the LS Retail Conference ConneXions 2016 has flown by and it sure is an exciting place to be. During the opening address by Carsten Wuff, Regional Director for Europe, we heard that the future is bright, the future is now, the future is NAV. Well, this is very true of the Machine Learning presentation and demo given this morning by Luis Cabrera, Senior Program Manager from the Microsoft Azure team.

During Luis’s presentation, we heard how through Microsoft Cognitive Services you could use intelligence to augment user experiences, customise response and even drive different actions and outcomes with your customers. This was demonstrated through solutions that can see, hear, speak and interpret. Through Microsoft Cognitive Services, you can build apps with powerful algorithms and as Luis put it “Its not rocket science, you just need a few lines of code”

Microsoft Cognitive Services expands on Microsoft’s evolving portfolio of machine learning APIs and enables developers to easily add intelligent features – such as emotion and video detection; facial, speech and vision recognition; and speech and language understanding – into their applications.

We saw today the power of the Microsoft Face API. Face API is a cloud-based API that provides the most advanced algorithms for face detection and recognition. During the demo, simply through standing in front of a camera, the API was able to detect and project an image and then suggest attributes to the persons face from their pose, gender and age.

In general, face recognition provides the functionalities of automatically identifying or verifying a person from a selection of detected faces. The Face API provides four recognition functionalities: face verification, similar face searching, automatic face grouping and person identification. Face recognition is widely used in security systems, celebrity recognition and photo tagging applications. During the demonstration, Luis used 2 guests from the audience and it was fantastically exciting to see.

13112849_1073614519368986_1544318347045915529_o“We want to build intelligence that augments human abilities and experiences. Ultimately it is not going to be about man versus machine. It is going to be about man with machines,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO explained earlier in April at Microsoft Build 2016.

I’m personally excited about where this will go to next. During the coffee break it was a hot topic among our customers.

How will this all fit in to retail? K3 Retail have some ideas but we’d love to hear your thoughts. Natalie Bruins.


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