Azure Cognitive Services Text Analytics – An API Calling Application

Just last week we had the fantastic opportunity to present at Microsoft Ignite 2017 in the Gold Coast on Azure Cognitive Services – and we had an absolute blast of a time!

I co-presented with Kristina Rumpff who works at Microsoft in the Data Platform team as a Solution Architect.  I focused on an overview of the suite of Azure Cognitive Services along with a deep dive into the Text Analytics service, and Krissy focused on the LUIS service coupled together with Azure Bots.

 

Fast Start to Azure Text Analytics Cognitive API’s

Leading up to, and since, the session I had a few people ask if there is anything pre-canned application wise which can call the Text Analytics API’s which they can just use.

The answer to that is kind of yes

However apart from that I didn’t find anything else out there which people can quickly leverage to do this for them… so I wrote one!

UPDATE:  I have since found this app handy myself when I need to quickly process a stack of once-off random text that someone sent to me for some other downstream reporting.  (…AND this was a good chance to learn more c# coding!)

So lets see the application!

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SQL Saturday 582 Melbourne (11 Feb 2017) and Ignite 2017 (14-17 Feb 2017)

For those not aware there are 2 cool local and national events coming to both Melbourne and Gold Coast

  • SQL Saturday 582 (Sat 11 Feb 2017).  Melbourne.  For those looking for some great free local SQL (and related!) learning, you simply cannot go past a SQL Saturday anywhere in the world!  And this one right here in Melbourne will again be no exception.  There is a lineup of fantastic local speakers including Microsoft and MVP’s as well as international speakers too.  http://www.sqlsaturday.com/582/EventHome.aspx
  • Ignite 2017 (14-17 Feb 2017).  Gold Coast.  For those wanting more than a day and across a wider variety of topics, then Ignite will also be another you simply cannot miss.  As above there is a fantastic lineup of both local Microsoft and local MVP/experts as well as an impressive list of international speakers.  This is a 4 day back-to-back set of technical sessions. https://msftignite.com.au/

UPDATE: Ignite 2017 has come and gone – and so here’s some links!

 

I want to focus this short blog post on SQL Saturday 582 as there are some great things happening right here locally in Melbourne… 

SQL Saturday 582 – Melbourne

SQL Saturday is an excellent free learning resource for all things SQL Server – all costs are covered by donations and sponsorships.  Some of the excellent sponsors this year are Microsoft, Wardy IT, Idera and PASS.

Some of the session focus areas include SQL 2016 (many deep dives across almost all facets!), SQL DB/DW in Azure, Azure Cognitive Services and Machine Learning, R, Agile Methods, Power BI, Powershell, BIML …and more!

Furthermore – Some of the top Microsoft product group (PG) speakers will also be attending:

  • Lindsey Allen
  • Sunil Agarwal
  • Matt Masson
  • Julie Koesmarno
  • Ajay Jagannathan

Sunil will also be helping to run a SQL Clinic on the day where you can talk directly to Microsoft about your biggest pain points or suggestions for the next versions of SQL Server.

For those wanting to come along here are the links you need to know.  Please go to the website and register to attend.

The event is being held at Monash University (Caulfield Campus, 888 Dandenong Road, Caulfield East, Victoria)

 

The Rise of the Machines…

For those attending – I am co-presenting a pretty cool session with the awesome Krissy Rumpff (from local Microsoft SQL Team) on Azure Cognitive Services.  

Session Details here – http://www.sqlsaturday.com/582/Sessions/Details.aspx?sid=56483

We’ll talk though what they are, why you should care and how to interact with them (via API’s).  We hope to show some pretty fun demos and draw some relevant use cases – and if time permits will look for some unwilling audience participation!

Feel free to pop in and introduce yourself!

 

I hope to see you all in Melbourne at SQL Saturday!


Disclaimer: all content on Mr. Fox SQL blog is subject to the disclaimer found here

Azure Cognitive Services API’s with SQL Server 2016 CLR

Azure Cognitive Services is relatively new functionality within Azure that exposes some truly amazing APIs that have the ability to do some truly amazing things.

Before I dive into SQL and DLL code to make use of Cognitive Services, lets take a second to understand what I am talking about – imagine this;

  • A customer walks to an electronic kiosk in a shopping centre and says “Hi Cortana, I want to book a holiday, I really need a break from this bad weather.  Any ideas on where I should go?
  • The kiosk is run by a “bot” capable of conversing in 30 languages and which has been trained on understanding context and intent.
  • It recognises you as a 35 yo male who looks and sounds unhappy, and because it recognises your face and voice it knows it has talked to you before in another shopping centre last week when you asked for directions to a Surf Shop clothing store.
  • It also recognises a beach image on your T-Shirt, making note of the link between your previously asked directions and your clothing.
  • As you spoke in English, it replies in English – “Good to see you again.  Now, would you consider a beach holiday to Bali or Thailand?” – Why beach? Well the recommendations engine has determined that is where 35yo male surfer types go when the local weather is bad!
  • You negotiate a package using natural language, and close out the conversation.
  • The “bot” visualises your increased sentiment from the initial baseline and says “I’m glad I could make your day better! Enjoy your flight next week!

It may sound futuristic – but this is exactly what Cognitive Services (API’s) can do right now – and in my example I have only used 6 out of the 21 Azure Cognitive Services!  Microsoft Research has built these powerful Azure ML Models and wrapped them up into a single, simple, consumable publicly available API.

Some other amazing deployments for Cognitive Services

  • At a trade show, or even a window display at a shopping centre, a company could use emotion detection to see how people are reacting to their products.
  • Facial recognition could be used to find missing children quickly at an amusement park.
  • The APIs can determine the male:female ratio and ages of patrons at a nightclub, and identify VIPs or banned guests.
  • The object recognition capabilities can enable a blind person to read a menu in a restaurant or have their surroundings described to them

These are just some of the scenarios possible as described by Jennifer Marsman (Microsoft Principal Software Development Engineer).  For those interested in this you can attend the Microsoft Data Science Summit on 26-27 Sep in Atlanta.  See this info link – https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/machinelearning/2016/09/07/artificial-intelligence-made-easy-cognitive-services-at-the-microsoft-data-science-summit/

For those not familiar with Azure Cognitve Services APIs, check out this link which has online demos you can try – https://www.microsoft.com/cognitive-services/en-us/apis

For those not familiar with the Azure Bot Framework, check out this link – https://dev.botframework.com/

Anyway – despite all this, for this post today we’ll just focus on something pretty simple – making usage of the Text Analytics API right within SQL Server 2016.

So lets get to scoring some sentiment!

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