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

Why defining brand strategy is vital to capitalising on quick wins

Big brands were once protected from small brands by high barriers to entry. Big brands had the resources to employ big agencies, to crack big ideas and to invest in big campaigns. They had the luxury of time to debate strategies and work on long-term innovation pipelines. Retailers used to partner with big brands.

Troy McKinnna

Co-founder, Agents of Spring, Calm & Stormy

3 ways to leverage the talents of your team to avoid disruption

​According to the World Economic Forum in its most recent The Future of Jobs report, the most important skills for the future are not technical, task-oriented skills, but higher-order skills such as creativity, social influence, active learning, and analytical thinking.

Gihan Perera

Futurist, leadership consultant

CMOs, it’s time to stop squandering customer attention

Businesses continue to highly value the attention they buy through paid media, yet at the same time, many continue to disregard and under-value opportunities to connect with customers using their owned media.

Well written Vanessa!! Agreed with your view that human experience is marketing's next frontier. Those businesses who are focused on the ...

Clyde Griffith

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Great tips for tops skills need to develop and stay competitive

Nick

The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

Read more

The popularity of loyalty programs is diminishing, though I'd say it is because customers are savvy enough to recognise when a loyalty pr...

Heather

It’s time for marketers to rethink their approach to ‘loyalty’

Read more

Thanks Nadia for sharing this blog. It has really useful and amazing information about Salesforce Commerce Cloud and digital engagement w...

Holly Smith

Adidas taps data and technology smarts to build personalised digital engagement with consumers

Read more

clearly someone who's jealous and only comments from the safety of being behind their keyboard

Peter Sibson

The purpose of purpose - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in