Microsoft updates its Bing app with an AI-powered visual search

Microsoft takes on Google lens with the new update.

    There are pretty good chances that you have Google Lens as a part of your Assistant. If you aren't happy with Lens' performance, then Microsoft has an alternative. The Bing app has been updated with an AI-powered visual search. So basically it's Lens but from Microsoft.

    Microsoft updates its Bing app with an AI-powered visual search

    Similar to the Assistant, Microsoft's visual search feature uses a neural network trained with many bytes of sample images. At the end of the training process, the system can look at new images to determine what they actually are. Bing is capable of spotting things such as flowers, clothing, animals, and barcodes. To use the new feature, users just have to hit the camera button on the main screen of the Bing app.

    Microsoft has recently acquired Semantic Machines, and it aligns with its efforts to enhance Cortana. The acquisition makes perfect sense for Microsoft to make its voice assistant better.

    Microsoft said that the purchase will not only bring updates to Cortana, but will also help chatbots like Xiaolce. The chatbot has crossed over 30 billion conversations across China, US, Japan, and Indonesia. Semantic Machines describes itself as a firm that develops fundamental technology allowing users to interact with machines naturally. The company is led by Dan Roth, UC Berkeley professor Dan Klein and Stanford University professor Percy Liang.

    "With the acquisition of Semantic Machines, we will establish a conversational AI center of excellence in Berkeley to push forward the boundaries of what is possible in language interfaces," said David Ku, CVP and chief technology officer of Microsoft AI & Research. "Combining Semantic Machines' technology with Microsoft's own AI advances, we aim to deliver powerful, natural and more productive user experiences that will take conversational computing to a new level."

    Microsoft also introduced the next generation Surface Hub 2. It is designed from the ground up to be used by teams - to get people out of their seats, to connect and ideate, regardless of the location. The new Surface Hub 2 is sleeker, agiler and more affordable to fit any workspace or work style.

    The 4K+ 50.5" multi-touch display creates an inviting canvas to co-create, harnessing the power of Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Whiteboard, Office 365, Windows 10 and the intelligent cloud. Surface Hub 2 scales and adapts to users' space by tiling up to four screens together in portrait or landscape view.

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