Ignite 2023: Key Azure takeaways for Microsoft partners and customers
Microsoft is taking the opportunity at Ignite 2023 to introduce a variety of new features and capabilities for Azure. AI takes center stage at this year’s event along with infrastructure, data, and analytics capabilities. Here are a few of the key developments announced at this year’s event:
AI & ML
Apart from announcing the general availability of Microsoft Fabric, new Copilot capabilities, and a wide variety of new cloud infrastructure, Microsoft added Machine Learning features such as prompt flow, model catalog, and model-as-a-service with inference APIs. OneLake is in preview as a data store for ML, providing a way to link Fabric and ML or surface data insights with Power BI.
AI Studio has launched in preview as an effort to create a unified AI platform. Customers can pick the data source on the back end, deciding between OneLake or AI Search, embedding vectors, evaluating model responses, and deploying open-source models.
AI Content Safety entered general availability, joined by new Customer Copyright Commitment documentation intended to help customers avoid the risks of infringing copyright. A slate of new image tagging options are available for AI Vision, paired with the Image Analysis 4.0 API, safeguards to prevent face recognition spoofing, and ways to implement the Florence foundation model.
Azure OpenAI Service has added a variety of new options such as support for DALL-E 3, GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 Turbo, Bing Search, and Advanced Data Analytics plugins. A variety of new translation and summary options have also become available, like named entity recognition or task-optimization summarization. Microsoft also shared AI Search vector search and semantic ranker, together with Video Content Search and video-to-text summary.
Managing data is an important objective for most Azure customers. Microsoft introduced generally available Amazon S3 shortcuts to bring together data from S3 with OneLake. It also added shortcuts for Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 to connect external data lakes with OneLake.
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