AI Builder – It’s hard not to become the captive of your own expertise

It’s hard not to become the captive of your own expertise, but it will only get harder, because change continues to accelerate. This trend is not recent; change has been accelerating since day dot. Ideas create ideas. I don’t expect that to change. But I could be wrong. With this in mind, we see the Microsoft Business Applications and Power Platform are accelerating at an amazing pace. The starting point for new application developments has changed, with the change here to stay.

Power Platform

There are three building blocks when building Microsoft Business Applications, PowerApps, Flow, PowerBI, which are underpinned by the Common Data Service.

AI Builder

AI Builder is a new Power Platform capability that allows you to easily automate processes and predict outcomes to help improve business performance. AI Builder is a turnkey solution that brings the power of AI through a point-and-click experience. Using AI Builder, you can add intelligence to your apps even if you have no coding or data science skills.

AI Builder Overview

Below are the key capabilities of AI Builder:

Binary Classification

Binary Classification uses historical data to predict whether new data falls into one of two categories. AI Builder binary classification is an AI model that predicts yes/no business outcomes by learning to associate historical data patterns with historical outcomes. Based on those results, the binary classification model detects learned patterns in new data to predict future outcomes. Use the binary classification AI model to explore any business question that is answered as one of two available options, such as yes/no, true/false, pass/fail, and go/no go. Gautham Thapar gave an relatable example of this in his presentation and demo of AI Builder (see, resource section).

Gautham shows an example from manufacturing (a particular area of interest for me personally and professionally).  When an item is manufactured, there are certain tolerances that the product being produced must sit within to pass quality standards.

During my childhood, I was exposed to business and manufacturing, some of my earliest memories are been in a factory. I was exposed to a manufacturing facility that manufactured boxes across multiple industries, including healthcare. Each box had to be checked and studied for anything which could be deemed a contaminant, before they could be shipped to medical practices for use. As expected, back then all defects were recorded on paper, and if there had been an increase in defects, an investigation to find the cause was undertook.

Today, we can take these measurements of defects, load them to CDS and in real-time understand where defects where entering the process and correct them. The trends and patterns would become very clear as the defects were either a ‘Yes’ over a X standard or NO under Y level for standards.

Form Processing

Form Processing identifies the structure of documents based on examples provided to extract text from any matching form. Examples might include tax forms or invoices. Form processing allows the user to create and consume models that use machine learning technology to identify and extract key-value pairs and table data from form documents. Train the model and define what information needs to be retrieved from the form documents.  It can be configured with five form documents to get started. Get results quickly, accurately and tailored to specific content without the need for a lot of manual intervention or extensive data science expertise.

With the above announcements, AI Builder makes available Cognitive and AI offerings from Microsoft to everyone by lowering the bar to entry and learning by providing a low code experience to create and consume AI in Business apps and Processes. There by providing a true no-cliffs opportunity with a grow up story to Azure ML and Cognitive services.

Microsoft are to continue to add value to the Power Platform and realize the vision of enabling the next wave of Citizen and Pro-developers to make intelligent business applications.

For example, with Dynamics 365 Sales, photographing Business Cards and auto extracting that data into a Contact record. Another example is extracting data from PDF form documents, say for invoices or application forms (OCR has been around for a while, but at a cost). Microsoft have another ace, in terms of the opportunity with Forms Pro, Flow and AI Builder, it’s a complete combination which will allow the opportunity for any type of document to be captured.

Object Detection

Object Detection lets you count, locate, and identify selected objects within any image.

You can use this model in PowerApps to extract information from pictures you take with the camera, a powerful tool for many industries. In most an inventory-based business, it has the potential to increase the accuracy for inventory forecasting and management, inventory management and optimisation. In a manufacturing business, technicians can use it to speed up the repair process by looking up the manual for a piece of machinery by taking a picture, even if the UPC/serial number is not visible.

Text Classification

Text classification can be used to improve processes such as customer feedback. Adding metadata for codification of knowledge base articles.

By adding tags to video content based on the video description. An example would be to review a requirements document, it could auto-tag the document with keywords based on relevance and density of words in the article. It could be used to route requests based on the content in a customer support scenario.

Resources

AI Builder

Power Platform Release Plan

Azure Machine Learning

Gautam Thapar

Business Applications Summit 2019

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