Microsoft Campus
The Visitor’s Center at Microsoft Headquarters campus is pictured July 17, 2014 in Redmond, Washington. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has announced updates to its portfolio of machine learning tools. The tools which have been called Project Oxford all along are being rebranded to Microsoft Cognitive Services. The Project Oxford Website now also redirects to the new Cognitive Services website.

There has been a rise in the number of APIs available also as mentioned by Microsoft senior program manager. The manager, Cornelia Carapcea, said there was a total of 22 APIs available. There are also prices for the new services though developers still have the opportunity to use the services for free. Microsofts Bing Search division is going to make the application programming interfaces (APIs) available.

The new name that Microsoft has chosen seems to be a yes to IBMs version, Watson. The Watson program has been marketed and branded as a “cognitive computing” product meaning a product based on the way the human brain works. Watson is a technology platform that makes use of our natural language processing and machine learning and is able to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data.

Microsoft is making this and other announcements at the Build developer conference in San Francisco which is taking place this week.

The Project Oxford Face application program, the application program interface (APO) is infamous for the How Old Do You Look? App technology which turned out horribly because it got almost all of its facts wrong. The ages of the peoples photos used to test it out were wrong and therefore, the program was subject to many jokes and memes by the online public.

Microsoft then worked out the portfolio with another API to detect the emotion in a person’s face in an image, in November. The company also promised services for spell checking, facial tracking and motion detection in videos, speech recognition for individuals and smile prediction.

All Project Oxford services were in the preview, including the Face API, Speech API and Custom Recognition Intelligent Service were said to be in a preview, and so are the new Cognitive Services. Microsoft is now working on allowing developers a chance to customize the new Cognitive Services according to their own needs, Carapcea noted.

The corporate vice president of Microsoft data group, Joseph Sirosh wrote a blog post about the Microsoft announcement.