Microsoft had a ton of new products and technologies to talk about at this past week's Build conference, but one area we haven't touched on up to this point is with the company's Azure cloud platform. While end-users are likely to be unaware of what Azure even is, Microsoft is banking on it becoming a major part of its future - it's even integrated a lot of Linux into it, because it has no choice but to be flexible.
We wrote last month that Amazon had just launched a service revolved around machine learning, and out of Build, Microsoft shows us that it can do it, too. To help prove it, it's deployed a demo called "How Old Do I Look?", which, as you might imagine, guesses how old you look.
To test the service out, you simply need to upload a clean, clear photo of yourself, and wait a moment for it to process. How old does it think Microsoft's 47-year-old CEO Satya Nadella is? I am not sure Nadella would appreciate the answer!
Microsoft admits that the calculations are a little rough right now, but that's the whole point of "machine learning". The algorithms will get better over time, and while today it might show Nadella at 51-years-old (using this particular photo), it could be that days from now, it could give an accurate answer of 47.
Interestingly, the website doesn't ask you whether or not the guess was correct, which makes me wonder how it's supposed to "learn" if it never knows what's incorrect. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see if the results do in fact become more accurate over time, as it'd be a shining example of what Azure's machine learning is capable of.