AI Services at Future Decoded 2017

Monday, 16 October 2017

A preview of the AI Services track at Future Decoded 2017


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The nights are drawing in, you've purchased your big coat for the winter and Christmas adverts have started already.... it must be time for Future Decoded again!

Future Decoded is Microsoft's annual UK conference which describes itself as "A vision of the modern digital business for today and tomorrow". This year, the conference is held on 31st October & 1st November 2017 at the ExCeL, London. If you are not already registered, you can register for free at Unlike previous years, technical content is split across both days so register for both days if you want the complete picture.

Myself and Simon Michael have been working to organise the 'AI Services' track which is a set of sessions aimed to help any developer integrate the power of AI into their applications and projects. The focus for this track is on AI services specifically, rather than AI as a whole. We aim to show you how you can use services like Cognitive Services, Bot Framework and Cortana Skills to bring AI to your applications. This track is not about the deep depths of Machine Learning and Neural Networks, the Data & Machine Learning track deals with that.

This article aims to give you something of a preview of the track, who is speaking, where and when it is and what you can expect to learn. Please use the session builder to add these tracks to your schedule if you are attending Future Decoded.

Introducing Microsoft AI Services

With Martin Kearn. 31 Oct. 09:45 - 10:45 | L3 - Session Room 7. Add to your schedule here.

Martin Kearn

I'll be opening the AI Services track up with a keynote that dips into all of the facets of Microsoft's AI platform and give you a taster of what is to come in the rest of the track.

Microsoft has a wide range of services that can bring the intelligence and power of AI to your web, mobile and desktop applications. We call these collectively "AI Services" and that includes Cognitive Services, Bot Framework, Cortana, Microsoft Graph and Azure Machine Learning. In this session you'll get a taste of the entire AI services platform, and a great start to the AI Services track at Future Decoded.

The best bots out there

With James Mann & Maria Vrabie. 01 Nov. 11:30 - 12:00 | L0 - Expo Transformational Theatre. Add to your schedule here.

James Mann Maria Vrabie

This is a 'lightening talk' which means it is a fast paced talk in the main expo arena rather than the normal conference session rooms.

What do you think of when your hear the word 'bot'?  In this lightning talk you will see examples of four real-world bots which use different techniques to provide more convenient and engaging experiences.  If you are new to Microsoft Bot Framework or are simply looking for inspiration for your next bot, this session is for you!

Building for Cortana

With Andy Wigley. 01 Nov. 11:30 - 12:30 | L3 - Session Room 14. Add to your schedule here.

Andy Wigley

Andy works for Microsoft and has very close links with the Cortana product team and lots of expeirence developing skills for Cortana.

Understand how to build for Cortana and make sure that your bot application is best-friends with Microsoft's personal digital assistant. Through real-world case studies and examples from UK-based live music discovery service, Gigseekr, you'll learn how to integrate and optimise your application for Cortana.

Cognitive Services in action

With Gary Pretty, Tom Morgan and Martin Kearn. 01 Nov. 13:30 - 14:30 | L3 - Session Room 14. Add to your schedule here.

Gary Pretty Tom Morgan Martin Kearn

The goal of this session is to give you lots of example of where Cognitive Services have been used in teh real world. This will include a section on the work we recently did with Black Radley Intelligent Exhibit.

In this session you'll hear from real-world companies on how they have used Microsoft cognitive services to add huge value to their applications. We'll hear how museum exhibits come to life while helping staff understand who their visitors are, as well as other real-world scenarios where cognitive services have been used.

AI Powered Customer Service Experiences

With Darren Jefford. 01 Nov. 15:00 - 16:00 | L3 - Session Room 14. Add to your schedule here.

Darren Jefford

Darren will talk about how AI services can power awesome custom services experiences.

In this session we’ll explain how you can start to innovate all aspects of your customer service journey using the Microsoft AI platform. This session will cover real-world insights on how to build conversational agents (Bot) to engage with your customers leveraging key Cognitive Services (LUIS, QnAMaker, Text Analytics) and Azure Search). We’ll then move to cover how other Cognitive Services such as Computer Vision and Custom Speech can be used in broader scenarios. We’ll then finish with providing a view into future investments that Microsoft are making around Customer Care.

A Rough Guide to Quantum Computing

With Rob Fraser. 01 Nov. 15:30 - 16:00 | L0 - Expo Transformational Theatre. Add to your schedule here.

Rob Fraser

This one is not directly related to AI Services, but we feel this is a very important topic for any developer and recommend you make time for this session if you can.

Despite the remarkable advances that have lead to the computing power we have available today, many computational problems that address big challenges in global warming, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, materials, big data processing & machine learning remain intractable with the computers we have. Quantum Computing is emerging as an exciting new technology that holds the promise of solving some problems in minutes or hours that would take billions of years of compute time on todays machines. In this talk intended for both business and technical attendees, Rob will provide an introduction to what quantum computing is, why quantum computation could be so powerful, how Microsoft is working to build a truly scalable quantum computer, and the software and applications that will address the big challenges.

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