Professional baseball in Japan is turning to artificial intelligence and the cloud to handle the magnitude of what has been a laborious and time- consuming task – photo management.
Sports photos can have immediate, lasting, and lucrative value – but only if they are kept in well organized and cataloged collections that can be accessed efficiently. IMAGE WORKS – a service of iconic Japanese photo giant, Fujifilm – manages the Nippon Professional Baseball’s cloud-based Content Images Center. Demand for these images are usually at their highest in realtime or near realtime – that is, during or immediately after, each game.
Now AI has stepped up to the plate. Developers from Fujifilm and Microsoft Japan have devised a solution: an automatic player name-tagging function that identifies and tags images much faster than people can, and in greater volumes.
Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA), Microsoft’s fundamental research arm in the Asia Pacific region, was founded in 1998 in Beijing. By attracting the best talent from Asia and across the globe, MSRA has grown into a world-class research lab that pushes boundaries of innovation. This year marks the 20th anniversary of MRSA, and we are celebrating the organization’s achievements in its persistent pursuit for excellence. With the goal of empowering people, organizations, and society, MSRA has set a high bar for what it will achieve in the next 20 years and beyond.
Microsoft Research Asia at 20 and going beyond technical achievement
Microsoft Research Asia celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and the milestone provided an occasion for many in the industry to reflect on an amazing journey, one not only replete with excellence and technological achievement, but also significant in its profound influence.
Celebrating 20 years of MSR in Asia with Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon
In this podcast, Dr. Hon gives us a brief history of MSRA, from its humble beginnings to its significant role in the AI boom, talks about its unique talent pipeline, shares his vision for the complementary roles of machine intelligence and human wisdom, and explains why the more progress we make in AI, the better we understand ourselves.
Microsoft’s innovation powerhouse in Asia fueled by research
As a powerhouse of ideas and innovation, the Beijing lab of Microsoft Research Asia is a surprisingly placid place. There is a quiet sense of contemplation here, almost as if it were a bastion of academia. And, in a way, it is – only better.
Coming soon: Your own personal AI-driven ‘co-pilot’ to help you at work and in life
Imagine having a virtual assistant who knows you through and through and can help you in all sorts of tasks and issues in your work and life. Microsoft’s top researchers in Asia predict that AI will soon make this not only possible, but also accessible and affordable.
China’s Xiaoice mixes AI with emotions and wins over millions of fans
She has a staggering 660 million online users. And, while they know she’s not real, many prize her as a dear friend, en a trusted confidante. She is Xiaoice – Microsoft’s chatbot phenomenon that has enthralled digital audiences across the world’s most populous nation for the past four years.
AI Customers in Asia
Northern Territory Fisheries
After every professional baseball match in Japan, hours are spent selecting the best photos for fans and commercial use. FUJIFILM and Microsoft Japan now have an AI solution that can do the job under 30 minutes, even when players’ faces are not visible in an angled or side shot.
Piramal Glass India
India’s Piramal Glass have overcome production efficiency challenges of glass manufacturing through deploying AI-powered Real Time Manufacturing Insights, powered by Azure IoT platform. The results: 40% reduction in manual data gathering, 25% improvement in employee productivity, and 5% reduction in defects.
Baobei Huijia (Baby Come Home), a leading non-profit organization in China, dedicated to finding missing children, is using Microsoft technology powered by AI and facial recognition to reunite missing persons with their families.
What do wind turbines and store shelves have in common? If you ask Clobotics, a start-up dual headquartered in Shanghai and Seattle, they are practical applications of digitalizing the physical world using AI-powered computer vision.
Airdoc, a start-up in China, has created an AI-driven system that takes and analyses photographic images of the retina at the back of each eye. Painless and low-cost, its high accuracy rate on finding indications of diseases on retinal images could make preventative healthcare available to millions of people.
Microsoft Partner, Enlighten Designs is working on an exciting new initiative with Sustainable Coastlines aiming to create citizen scientists, arming them with the right data and insights to help keep New Zealand clean, green and beautiful.
National Australia Bank (NAB)
Card fraud and skimming are giving banks headaches and costing them over $30 million a year. NAB and Microsoft have collaborated to design a proof of concept ATM using cloud and AI, to improve customer experience by removing the need for physical cards or devices to access cash.
Lifetime Support Authority
Working with Microsoft partner Satalyst and Microsoft’s Cognitive Services bot framework, Lifetime Support Authority in Australia has a pilot underway to steer the treatment, care and support of individuals admitted to hospital with catastrophic injuries.
Legendary Indian cricketer Anil Kumble’s is latest foray, Spektacom, leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) to capture and analyze data points such as bat speed to help cricket players and coaches up their game.
Bendigo Health Psychiatric Services
Bendigo Health Psychiatric Services (BHPS) in Australia is tapping into technology to efficiently manage about 1,160 active patients. Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps clinicians dictate notes directly into the system via Azure Cognitive services’ speech-to-text input.
Sumeeko Industries Company Limited
AI is taking center stage in Taiwan’s manufacturing sector by driving change and boosting global competitiveness. Sumeeko Industries Company Limited – a metal fastener and screw manufacturer – expects to increase its production accuracy rates by 50%, and triple its efficiency by using AI.
PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited
PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited in Thailand, has teamed up with FRONTIS and Microsoft to roll out the “AI for Road Safety” initiative, which uses AI to perform real-time analytics to track drowsy drivers and increase the efficiency of transport management systems.
Launched in association with Vision Australia, Soundscape has been developed by Microsoft’s artificial intelligence and research development team and is part of the company’s AI for Accessibility global initiative. Soundscape is specifically designed to deliver greater outdoors spatial and location awareness to people who are blind or have low vision by unobtrusively providing them audible clues.
Kindai University’s Aquaculture Research Institute
In Japan, Kindai University’s Aquaculture Research Institute is using Microsoft AI, machine learning and Internet of Things to transform fish farming operations, and ensure there’s enough Red Sea Bream to satisfy the nation’s appetite.
When 365mc hospital group in South Korea hooked up its surgery instruments with motion sensors that connected to AI, the company not only transformed its surgeons’ practice but its business model too. The hospital expects to increase its revenues by over 40%, thanks to AI.
Orient Overseas Container Line Limited (OOCL)
In Hong Kong, OOCL has come together with MSRA on a digital transformation journey to identify, manage and overcome operational uncertainties and create efficiencies. Optimizing OOCL’s existing shipping network operations is expected to save the shipping company around USD10 million in costs annually.
Ricacorp Properties Limited
The Hong Kong real estate market is one of the most competitive in the world. Through using AI to understand customers’ property desires, Ricacorp Properties Limited foresees earnings to rise by 30-40 percent and profits to increase by 40-50 percent.
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC)
In an effort to become a “100% digital operation”, MFTBC in Japan has created its own AI-powered chatbot, so its 10,000 employees can access the information and assistance they need. The same technology will soon enhance customer services, productivity, and maintenance quality across the whole company.
ICRISAT, United Phosphorous and Government of Karnataka
In India, Microsoft in collaboration with ICRISAT has developed an AI Sowing App that has empowered small-holder farmers to increase their income through 30% higher crop yields. Microsoft is also collaborating with United Phosphorous to create the Pest Risk Prediction API and with the government of Karnataka to use price forecasting.