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Microsoft’s Azure Services Expand AI Support

Microsoft announced a series of new tools and interfaces bringing  the company firmly into the machine learning fray, according to TechCrunch:

For developers, the company launched three major new tools today: the Azure Machine Learning Experimentation service, the Azure Machine Learning Workbench and the Azure Machine Learning Model Management service.

In addition, Microsoft also launched a new set of tools for developers who want to use its Visual Studio Code IDE for building models with CNTK, TensorFlow, Theano, Keras and Caffe2. And for non-developers, Microsoft is also bringing Azure-based machine learning models to Excel users, who will now be able to call up the AI functions that their company’s data scientists have created right from their spreadsheets.

The Experimentation Service is all about helping developers quickly train and deploy machine learning experiments. The service supports all of the usual open source frameworks (PyTorch, Caffe2, TensorFlow, Cahiner and Microsoft’s own CNTK)and can scale from a local machines to hundreds of GPUs in the cloud (thanks to the use of Docker containers and the Azure Batch AI Training service). The tools also supports Apache Spark on Azure HDInsight clusters. The service keeps track of all the models, configurations and data (using Git repositories) to give developers full versioning for their experiments.