Microsoft Azure will be integrated with Corda

R3 and Microsoft Corp. have agreed on their future partnership
21 November 2017   962

Recently R3 and Microsoft corp. concluded an agreement about deep integration the Corda platform with Azure. This integration will simplify to work for businesses which use computing resources for blockchain networks. And it will provide simple integration of Azure’s services with Corda, for example SQL Database, Key Vault, Express Route, Active Directory. The developers will be able to build their own CorDapps with understandable tools.

Then R3 and Microsoft are going to provide Corda and Azure networks for free access. In this way businesses will be able to easily set up Corda networks. It will reduce time and deployment costs for them. Now available stable Corda’s version 1.0 with stable core application programming interface (API).

Also this agreement means that the Azure is the preferred cloud provider for R3.

A lot of companies around the world use Corda technological platform for development vendoring and system integration.

As an early investor in R3, Commonwealth Bank has developed deep experience in distributed ledger technologies, and our early adoption of cloud technology has delivered significant benefits to our organisation and our customers. Deeper integration of the Corda platform with Azure will enable CBA to better scale our distributed ledger experimentation and help keep CBA at the forefront of technology innovation in financial services.

Dilan Rajasingham, Head of Emerging Technology at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

For the first time R3 and Microsoft corp. started talking about cooperation at last year. Now 60 partners companies join in the network which includes R3, Microsoft corp., Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Intel.

Microsoft to Use AI to Create Human Voice

Synthetic voice is nearly indistinguishable from recordings of people
27 September 2018   704

Researchers from Microsoft recorded computer voice, imitating human speech. To overcome the difficulties of the traditional model, they used neural networks for speech synthesis. Microsoft promises to provide support for 49 languages ​​and the ability to create unique voices for the needs of companies in the near future.

Synthesis of speech with the help of neural networks involves comparing the stress and length (so-called prosody) of the speaker's speech units, as well as their synthesis into a computer voice. In systems of traditional speech synthesis, prosody is divided into acoustic and linguistic analysis, controlled by various models. As a result, the speech is noisy and indistinct. Representatives of Microsoft argue that in the model of neural synthesis two stages are combined into one, so the voice sounds like a real one.

The developers are convinced that the synthesis of speech with the help of neural networks will make it more natural to communicate with virtual interlocutors and assistants. Moreover, it will enable you to convert e-books into audiobooks and will allow you to change the scoring of built-in navigators.

Microsoft Neural TTS
Microsoft Neural TTS

Azure computing power is available for real-time use, and Azure Kubernetes is responsible for this. Simultaneous application of neural synthesis of speech together with traditional speaks about expansion and increase of availability of service. At the moment, there are a female voice named Jessa and a man named Guy.

Microsoft is competing in speech recognition and synthesis technologies with Google, which updated its services in late August 2018. Google Cloud announced the release of a stable API for the synthesis of speech Cloud Text-to-Speech with the experimental function of audio profiles and support for several new languages.