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Book Review: Microsoft Azure AI: A Beginner’s Guide

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DevShelf
·Mar 2, 2023·

4 min read

Book Review: Microsoft Azure AI: A Beginner’s Guide
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Microsoft Azure AI: A Beginner’s Guide” is a book that provides an introduction to Microsoft Azure and its various AI services. The objective of the book is to provide practical guidelines that might help you if you are in a role of a CTO/ Architect / Designer / Consultant / Developer or even a Beginner in their AI journey.

What Does This Book Cover?

The book is divided into eight chapters, each covering a specific topic related to Microsoft Azure AI. The authors start by introducing the readers to the basics of Azure and its various AI services, such as Cognitive Services, Machine Learning, and Bot Services. The subsequent chapters delve into each of these services in detail, explaining how they work and how they can be used to develop AI-powered applications.

Chapter 1 gives a basic introduction to the services/components provided by Azure to build AI based applications, Azure Cognitive Services, and Azure Computer Vision. After reading this chapter, the reader will be able to understand Azure AI Platform, the core concepts of Azure Cognitive Services and various services available within Azure Computer Vision.

Chapter 2 introduces Azure Vision APIs for developing custom applications which can be used for processing images, recognizing faces and detecting objects. After reading this chapter, the reader will have the skills that make it possible to effectively build applications by leveraging Image Analytics, Content Moderation, Object Detection, Face Recognition, and Custom Vision Services.

Chapter 3 introduces Handwriting Recognition, Optical Character Recognition, Face API, and Spatial Analysis. After reading this chapter, the reader will have the skills that make it possible to effectively build applications by leveraging Handwriting Recognition, Optical Character Recognition, Face API and Spatial Analysis.

Chapter 4 explores how to leverage Decision, Language, Speech, and Web Search in the applications. After reading this chapter, the reader will understand how to effectively build applications leveraging each of the APIs.

Chapter 5 makes the reader understand Azure Applied AI Services. We will delve a little deep into Azure Form Recognizer, Azure Metrics Advisor, Azure Cognitive Search, Azure Immersive Reader, and Azure Video Analyzer for Media. By the end of this chapter, the reader will understand how to effectively leverage these services.

Chapter 6 takes the reader through the Microsoft Bot Landscape including the Bot Framework, the Bot Framework Composer after a brief introduction of Bots and how they have evolved over the years. We will look at what the different options have to offer Bot Framework has to offer, the best practices and scenarios, a simple example using the Bot Framework with using QnA and include NLP (LUIS) capabilities as well and also understand how to develop/debug Bots locally with the Bot Emulator, Bot Composer and its features and a quick example.

Chapter 7 introduces ML.NET. The reader will learn how to leverage ML.NET which is a cross-platform, open source machine learning framework. After reading this chapter the reader will understand how a ML model can be developed and then exposed as an API or a web service. The reader will also understand how it can be invoked from .NET code.

Chapter 8 introduces Azure Machine Learning Studio. The reader will learn to create models, score models and run experiments and also learn about Accord Framework. The reader will get a view on ML Ops and a brief overview of migration from classic ML Studio Azure Designer.

One of the key strengths of the book is its emphasis on practical illustrations. Each chapter includes real-world examples and use cases that demonstrate how the different Azure AI services can be applied to solve business problems. The authors also provide step-by-step instructions and code snippets to help readers get started with Azure AI quickly.

Another noteworthy aspect of the book is its accessibility. The authors have done an excellent job of explaining complex concepts in a clear and concise manner, making the book suitable for beginners who are new to Azure and AI. However, the book also provides enough depth and detail to be useful to experienced professionals who want to expand their knowledge of Azure AI.

In conclusion, “Microsoft Azure AI: A Beginner’s Guide” is a well-written and informative guide that covers all the essential topics related to Microsoft Azure AI. It is an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn about Azure and its AI services, and I would highly recommend it to both beginners and experienced professionals in the field.

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