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Connect2015 - FSI DevConnect, afternoon sessions

The next session on the FSI DevCon was focusing mostly on Machine Learning - how can you use many of the achievements recently came out of Microsoft (most of them open sourced!) to target creating a new kind of AI. We’ve seen some amazing demos of Project Oxford's (Microsoft's in-cloud solution for evaluating queries like 'Twins or not?' and much more serious questions as well) scalability, up to 150 billion evaluations per second. As I have been a Windows Hello user as well, obvious was the question - does the face recognition being the same in Windows Hello and Project Oxford? Turned out to be they do share some of the codebase, but Hello does depend on 3D camera points and much more to make it more robust.

·         Microsoft expands availability of Project Oxford intelligent services:

·         Microsoft open sources Distributed Machine Learning Toolkit for more efficient big data research:

·         The Language-Integrated Quantum Operations (LIQUi|>) simulator:

 One of the best quotes of the days I think should be paired up with the next discussion topic: Universal Windows Apps and Platform, which was: "Windows RT OS? No we are not discussing that now." There is not much I'm allowed to share on the rest of the discussion.

The last big topic we dived into was bitcoin and block chain - to help figuring out what my/our strategy is supposed to be on it. If you still struggle separating the two: if block chain is Manhattan, bitcoin is just one building in it. Same way: if block chain is the iPod, Ethereum (more on that later) is iTunes. We discussed the basic on block chain and bitcoin - What are tokens and addresses. How it works as a P2P network. How it forms consensus. What is a block chain VM and how it works. Why resolving the truth is going to help you next to just storing the information. What are smart contracts and why they are smart - how you are incubating disruption here. We looked into what ÐApps are, how they are distributed applications built with the smart contract platform Ethereum. How the smart contracts enforce themselves as they live on the block chain, how they react to events, multiparty actions, how they can help you transfer assets. How you can create composite contracts. What clause chains are? And most importantly: how you end up with a giant worldwide distributed virtual machine. We looked more deeply how ÐApps work - how it's a combination of a contract and a JavaScript GUI to work with Ethereum and eth. And then popped up the reason why we were there - to learn about 'Azure Block chain as a Service'! We looked at how Ethereum block chain as a service serves a vision with service fabric and microservices, and I think I agreed on that block chain is can be a bigger thing than FIX if needed. The ability to fire up my own ubuntu/go based solution for playing with block chain in the cloud is appealing, and the support in VSCode is giving me a good development IDE to write the sols and configuration files for it.


As the last of this series, I'm saying this here the last time: It's a different Microsoft now! :)

Posted Nov 30 2015, 03:22 PM by petersm
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