At last week’s Build2015 developer conference, Microsoft demonstrated many great new tools. One demo which got quite a bit of attention was the How Old Am I? app (http://how-old.net) The demo allows users to upload pictures and let the service “guess” the age and gender of the individuals in the photo. Within a few hours, the demo went viral, with over 210,000 images uploaded to the site from all over the world. The result was a dashboard of requests from all over the globe.
This solution shows off the use of a number of powerful technologies.
Face API – Project Oxford is a set of Artificial Intelligence API’s and REST services which developers can use today to build Intelligent Systems. In addition to Facial Recognition, the Project Oxford AI services include Speech Recognition, Vision (or Image Recognition and OCR), and Language Understanding Intelligent Services – leveraging the technology capabilities of Bing and Cortana.
Azure Event Hubs – a highly scalable publish-subscribe ingestor that can intake millions of events per second, the Event Hubs API is used to stream the JSON document from the web page when the user uploads a picture.
Azure Stream Analytics – a fully managed low latency high throughput stream processing solution. Azure Stream Analytics lets you write your stream processing logic in a very simple SQL -like language. This allows the solution to take measurements every 10 seconds of how many requests, from which countries, of which gender and age. These measurements become Facts for your analysis.
Power BI – choose PowerBI as the output of our stream analytics job (click here to learn how). Then the team went to http://www.powerbi.com, and selected the dataset and table created by Azure Stream Analytics. There is no additional coding needed to create real time dashboards.
The only down side to this is that my worst fears have been confirmed – I look older than I actually am by over 10 years! 🙁