Microsoft to integrate Visual Studio with AI services

Another piece of Microsoft's 'Open Mind Studio' falls into place: A new extension enabling developers to use AI services from inside Visual Studio.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

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At its Ignite conference in September, Microsoft unveiled an extension that integrated Visual Studio Code with its AI services. Today, Nov. 15, at its Connect (); conference, Microsoft is adding an extension to Visual Studio itself that will integrate with its AI services.

(Image: Microsoft)

This second extension, known as Visual Studio Tools for AI, supports both Microsoft and third-party deep-learning frameworks. It supports the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK), Google TensorFlow, Theano, Keras, Caffe2, and more. Visual Studio Tools for AI leverages existing code support for Python, C/C++/C#, and supplies additional support for Cognitive Toolkit BrainScript, Microsoft officials said.

Visual Studio Tools for AI and Visual Studio Code for AI are both part of Microsoft's suite for machine learning -- codenamed "Open Mind Studio" -- which officials outlined over a year ago. Microsoft's recently unveiled Azure Machine Learning Workbench also is designed to work with this suite.

Microsoft officials described Open Mind Studio in 2016 as "the 'Visual Studio' for Machine Learning." As outlined, Open Mind Studio was designed to work on a variety of CPU/GPU, FPGA, cloud, and client devices. It was meat to be designed to run on federated infrastructure and support a variety of deep learning frameworks, open-source computation frameworks (like Hadoop and Spark), specialized optimized computation frameworks, and other frameworks as they were built.

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