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Deploy a Cloud Container Using Azure AI Cognitive Services

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Let’s explore the diverse range of Azure AI services, highlighting their capabilities and the potential they offer for developers, and also look at how to deploy a cloud container using these services.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a transformative force in the rapidly evolving landscape of technology, changing the way businesses operate and people interact with digital systems. Microsoft Azure, a leading cloud platform, has positioned itself at the forefront of this AI revolution with a suite of powerful and comprehensive AI services.

Industry use cases of Azure AI cognitive services

Azure cognitive services have been developed through a combination of Microsoft’s extensive research and development efforts in the field of AI and machine learning, along with the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies and methodologies. These are a set of AI services and APIs that enable developers to build intelligent applications without having to delve deeply into the intricacies of machine learning. These services are categorised into vision, speech, language, and decision APIs, and offer a wide array of functionalities.

Azure AI cognitive services have been implemented across different industries. The use cases range from customer engagement to process optimisation. Table 1 shows some real-time projects that are using these services.

Table 1: Real-time projects using Azure AI cognitive services

Industry Real-time projects Azure AI services used
Healthcare Smart patient assistance Language understanding (LUIS), Chatbot
Manufacturing Quality control Custom vision, Anomaly detector
Finance Fraud detection Anomaly detector
Education Intelligent tutoring systems Language understanding (LUIS), Speech-to-text
Smart cities Traffic monitoring and management Computer vision
E-commerce Visual search Computer vision
Hospitality Multilingual customer service bots Translator text, Chatbot
Energy Predictive maintenance Anomaly detector

Why to choose Azure AI services?

Azure AI services offer a suite of powerful tools that empower businesses and developers to harness the potential of artificial intelligence. These services are not only rich in features but also provide a range of key benefits that significantly impact the development, flexibility, scalability, and analytical capabilities of applications. These benefits collectively redefine the landscape of AI-driven applications, fostering innovation, efficiency, and unparalleled user experiences (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Key benefits of Azure AI services

Popular APIs of Azure AI cognitive services

Azure cognitive services offer a diverse set of tools and APIs that leverage artificial intelligence to enhance various aspects of applications. Table 2 provides a quick overview of the Azure AI cognitive services, categorising them into vision processing, speech recognition, language, decision, and search APIs.

Table 2: Popular APIs of Azure AI cognitive services

Category Service Description

Vision APIs
Computer vision Extract information from images and videos
  Face APIs Provide facial recognition capabilities
 

Speech APIs

Speech-text recognition Translate spoken to written text
  Text-speech recognition Translate written text to spoken words
  Speaker recognition Identify and verify speakers through voice analysis

Language APIs
Text analytics Extract insights from text data, such as sentiment
  Translator text Translate text into various languages

Decision APIs
Personaliser Customise content recommendations based on user behaviour
  Anomaly detector Detect anomalies in time-series data
Search APIs Bing search API Integrate web search results into applications

Analytics APIs
Azure cognitive search Add sophisticated search capabilities to applications
  Analytics understanding Enhance bot comprehension of user input by extracting intent

Steps to deploy a cloud container using Azure AI services

To deploy a container image using Azure cognitive services, we generally use Azure container instances (ACI).

Step 1. Set up an Azure cloud account: If you don’t already have a subscription, then start with an Azure free access.

Step 2. Log in at the Azure multi-service account:  Once you successfully sign up on the Azure AI services account, a starting dashboard of Azure AI services will be displayed as shown in Figure 2.

 Azure AI multi-services account
Figure 2: Azure AI multi-services account

Step 3. Create Azure AI services: To create AI services on the ‘instance’ tab, enter the details mentioned in Figure 3. In our case, we have created the Azure AI service named ‘OSFYAzureContainer’ depicted in this figure.

Creating Azure AI service named ‘OSFYAzureContainer’
Figure 3: Creating Azure AI service named ‘OSFYAzureContainer’

Step 4. Create the container instance: After clicking on the ‘Review Create’ menu, a new browser will open, where the user can review and finally create the container instance as shown in Figure 4.

Creating container instance
Figure 4: Creating container instance

Step 5. Details and activity log of created container service: On the ‘overview and activity log’ tab as depicted in Figure 5, you can check the details such as ‘resource group’, ‘data centre location’, ‘pricing tier’, etc, for the created container.

Activity log of created Azure AI container service
Figure 5: Activity log of created Azure AI container service

Step 6. Deploy the container: Finally, save your changes, and the container is successfully deployed. A sample application deployed is shown in Figure 6.

Container service is successfully deployed
Figure 6: Container service is successfully deployed

Microsoft Azure AI services provide a comprehensive and accessible suite of tools that empower developers and businesses to infuse intelligence into their applications. Whether it’s understanding natural language, recognising images, building machine learning models, creating conversational bots, or implementing powerful search capabilities, these services offer a wide range of functionalities to drive innovation and deliver enhanced user experiences. As the AI landscape continues to evolve, Azure remains a reliable and cutting-edge platform for those looking to harness the potential of artificial intelligence in their applications and services.

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