Why Microsoft’s data chief thinks current machine learning tools are like tailored shirts

A marketplace for intelligent APIs will bring 'mass production' to machine learning and data science

Joseph Sirosh
Joseph Sirosh

When Microsoft's data chief thinks about the future, he sees a world where developers create applications that leverage machine learning and predictive analytics without needing the help of a data scientist.

Joseph Sirosh, the corporate vice president in charge of Microsoft's Data group, likens the current state of machine learning tools to an age decades ago when people bought tailored shirts. In a similar way that mass manufacturing now lets people grab a shirt off the rack, he says a similar transition is coming to application development.

In an on-stage interview at the Structure conference in San Francisco Wednesday, Sirosh touted a vision of a marketplace for finished tools that developers can plug into apps to provide intelligent capabilities like speech recognition, facial recognition, forecasting and more.

"In the future, there will be a large, enormous selection of finished, intelligent APIs in the cloud," Sirosh said.

Much like Apple's App Store, a marketplace would allow developers to find the best tools for an application and plug them in, without going to the trouble of hiring data scientists and building their own machine learning models.

Such a marketplace could come with pitfalls. The provider of those tools will have to provide some guarantee of availability, stability and security for the APIs, since applications will rely on their continued availability.

There's also the matter of pricing. How can companies know that they're getting a good deal for futuristic capabilities? In theory, that's where a marketplace should help. When there are multiple developers creating the same or similar tools, they'll compete with one another on pricing and features.

For instance, three different voice recognition service providers can offer similar services and compete on price to draw users.

Such a marketplace might not be as far off as it seems. Microsoft already offers tools to help make applications more intelligent through its Project Oxford suite, which offers APIs that detect faces, voices and more. And IBM offers several of its Watson artificial intelligence APIs as cloud services for developers to build applications.

Read more: Volvo works with Microsoft on next generation automotive technologies

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

5 things every business can do to drive brand loyalty

If you’re in any customer-centric role, you’ll likely be familiar with the Net Promoter Score (NPS) – one of the most popular tools for brands to measure their customer sentiment.

Catherine Anderson

Chief customer officer, Powershop Australia

What the modern gig economy is doing to customer experience

Most marketing theory was established in the context of stable employment relationships. From front-line staff to marketing strategists and brand managers, employees generally enjoyed job security with classic benefits such as superannuation plans, stable income streams, employment rights, training, sabbaticals and long-service leave.

Dr Chris Baumann

Associate professor, Macquarie University

The new data hierarchy

We are all digital lab rats spewing treasure troves of personal data wherever we go.

Gerry Murray

Research director, marketing and sales technology services, IDC

Thank you! That was useful to know.

Belia Adam

Why your best social marketing brand tool could be hiding in plain sight

Read more

Because you are missing the point of the term "disruption"

Sean

Uber for the truckies: How one Aussie startup is disrupting the freight industry

Read more

Absolutely agree with this ... Facebook doesn't care what adds they show. You report an add for fake news/scam and it just remains "open...

Quasi Carbon

Unilever CMO threatens Facebook, Google with digital advertising boycott

Read more

How to create Pinball game in 4 minshttps://youtu.be/S1bsp7del3M

Alex Atmavan

Rethinking gamification in marketing

Read more

True Local - one of the least credible review sites on the entire internet.

MyNameIsStomp

Former Virgin Mobile CMO and CEO joins oOh! as first customer chief

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in