Microsoft is taking autocorrect to the next level

Microsoft is using artificial intelligence and Windows Machine Learning (ML) to improve its products, including Office 365. During the third Build keynote, corporate vice president of the Windows Developer Platform Kevin Gallo used Microsoft Word as an example, stating that the company’s goal is to make everyone a better writer. How? Through grammar checking powered by Windows ML and artificial intelligence. 

“Some areas are very, very hard to detect with traditional algorithms,” he said. “For example, you get into a car, but onto a train. There is a shadow on the road versus there is fog on the road.” 

He said this problem is personal due to his daughter, Anna. He said she’s struggled with grammar her whole life and felt that she would never be a good writer. Her woes are understandable: The English language is complex, with words having different meanings depending on the subject. His example of a car versus a train is another good point. 

microsoft word powered by machine learning ai build 2018 keynote 6

But by incorporating machine learning, Microsoft can help pinpoint these small errors. In a demonstration, he produced two identical documents: One edited using the current version of Word, and another edited using Word powered by machine learning. The standard version didn’t pick up on three missing determiners while the prototype Windows ML-powered version highlighted the three nouns that were missing their determiners. 

“We’ve trained the grammar checker and it now can suggest corrections that I can take action on and fix,” he said. “We’re running this on Windows ML, which enables Word to build an experience that is low-latency, has high scalability because there are a lot of Word users out there, and it can work offline.” 

The big news here is that Microsoft’s products, such as Word, are now relying on machine learning algorithms running locally on a Windows 10 device, and not in the cloud. On devices that support DirectX 12, Windows ML can utilize the PC’s graphics chip while using the processor as a secondary resource. And because these algorithms are running locally within apps installed on a device, the results are extremely quick. 

Group program manager Kam VedBrat introduced the new Windows ML application programming interface (API) in March, a platform that enables developers to implement pre-trained machine learning models in their apps and experiences. On-device A.I. is necessary when there is poor or no connection to the cloud, if the data is just too large, or if customers simply don’t want their data uploaded to the Azure cloud. 

VedBrat’s demonstration included an app that can scan circuit boards for problems. The machine learning model was developed in the cloud (Microsoft Azure) using labeled images of boards known to be working or defective. Thus, the app can either pass or fail a circuit board after scanning for the proper components. The driving point is that the evaluating process can be done locally on the Windows 10 device, and not in the Azure cloud. Even more, the PC relied on its graphics chip and DirectX 12 instead of the processor. 


Latest Skype preview now lets you chat with up to 50 people on a video call

The latest beta version of Skype is introducing an ability to enter a video call with up to 50 people, a change from the current public version which has a maximum limit of 25 participants.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Achievements unlocked: Xbox Live is coming to mobile devices

Microsoft officially announced that Xbox Live features, including Achievements and friends lists, will be coming to iOS and Android games. Developers will be able to pick and choose which features to use.

Android app mirroring is coming to Windows 10, and it could save tablet mode

Several months after a brief demo on stage during a Surface event, Microsoft is now starting the process of testing out a beta version of the Android App mirroring feature with Windows Insiders.

At $99, Nvidia’s Jetson Nano minicomputer seeks to bring robotics to the masses

Nvidia announced a new A.I. computer, the Jetson Nano. This computer comes with an 128-core GPU that Nvidia claims can handle pretty much any A.I. framework you could imagine. At $99, it's an affordable way for A.I. newbies to get involved.

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 

Amazon and Nvidia bring artificial intelligence to the cloud with T4 GPUs

Nvidia announced the availability of new mainstream servers optimized to run the company's latest T4 GPUs with Turning architecture. Amazon jumped on board immediately, announcing that new AWS EC2 G4 instances will offer the technology.

Calibrate your display to get it looking just the way you like it

Want to see images the way they're intended to be seen? Here is our quick guide on how to calibrate your monitor using your operating system or another tool, to make what's on the screen look as good as it can.

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.

Netgear’s new Nighthawk Tri-band AX12 router brings Wi-Fi 6 speeds to the masses

Available in May for $600, the Nighthawk Tri-band AX12 router allows for maximum Wi-Fi performance on smart home devices and offers everything needed for gaming, streaming, and other high-bandwidth applications. 
Home Theater

Smart speakers are about to get an IQ bump thanks to new Qualcomm chips

Qualcomm announced a new chipset that is designed to make the next generation of smart speakers sound, listen, and connect better than ever before, and it could soon be in your living room.

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.