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AI Nights Content - Beginner Track

Workshop for Attendees

Session Information

Session Title: Creating applications that can see, hear, speak or understand - using Microsoft Cognitive Services

Session Abstract: In this workshop you will be introduced to the Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services, a range of offerings you can use to infuse intelligence and machine learning into your applications without needing to build the code from scratch. We will cover pre-trained AI APIs, such as computer vision and text analytics, that are accessed by REST protocol. Then look at how you can host these models in containers, giving you the ability to run Cognitive Services offline and on edge devices. Finally we will dive into Custom AI that uses transfer learning - Microsoft Azure Custom Vision. This enables you to provide a small amount of your own data to train an image classification model. Wrapping the workshop up by building our custom trained AI into an application - using Logic Apps, this technology is ideal for proof of concepts within machine learning

Pre-requisites for your machine

All demos and content have been tested on a Windows PC, however all options should run from macOS and Linux machines as well. Please provide information via an issue or pull request if you have feedback on other operating systems

Go to sections:

  • Task 1: Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services - Computer Vision Go to Section
  • Task 2: Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services - Custom Vision Go to Section
  • Task 3: Build Custom AI into an Application - Azure Logic Apps Go to Section

Task 1: Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services - Computer Vision

In this task you will try out the Cognitive Services using the website demo options

Navigate to:

Computer Vision website Link highlighted

There are lots of different demos to try in each section (Scene and Activity Recognition in Images, OCR, Face Detection, Emotion Detection, Video indexer etc)

Select the Demo link next to Scene and activity recognition in images under Computer Vision. There are also other demo links to explore the different services

Computer Vision Example

Now select Browse button and upload the cat.jpeg or city.jpeg image from sample-images/computer-vision-web-browser/cat.jpeg

Computer Vision Cat Example

Task 2: Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services - Text Analytics via REST

Now you will try using the REST protocol as you would use to integrate these services into an application

First log into Microsoft Azure and choose Portal in the top right corner.

Once in the portal select Create a resource and search Cognitive Services and choose Enter. Then select Create on the Cognitive Services blade

Create Cognitive Services Account

Enter details to create an account:

  • Name: enter a suitable name for the service (example: ainightscognitive)
  • Subscription: Choose your subscription
  • Location: Choose your closest Data Center available
  • Pricing Tier: S0
  • Resource Group: Select 'Create new', and provide a sensible name (example ainights)
  • select the checkbox after reading the terms below
  • select 'Create'

Cognitive Services Details

Once created, in your notifications (top right corner) select go to resource Go to Resource

In the Cognitive Services page, select Keys and copy KEY 1 Copy Key

Now select Overview in the left hand pane and copy the Endpoint variable Copy Endpoint

Download and open Postman, an API Development environment on your local machine.

Find the download in the Pre-requisites section

Select Request

Create A Request

Enter request details as below and choose the option create a new collection and name it "Text Analytics Samples"

Enter Request Details

Select the newly created collection and choose save

Save Request

Now create a request to call your text analytics API:

  • Change from a GET request to a POST request in the top left
  • Enter your endpoint URL and add text/analytics/v2.0/sentiment to the end
  • Select Headers underneath the URL box
  • In Key type Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key and in Value add your KEY1 value
  • In Key type Content-Type and in Value type application/json
  • Headers and URL
  • Select Body underneath the URL box
  • Select raw from the radio button options
  • Copy JSON sample from sample-code/cognitive-services-api-task/sentiment-analysis-text.json into the box
  • Select the Send button and review the Response
  • Body and Submit REST Request

You can also try other options from the REST API - such as KeyPhrases function. Change the end of the URL from sentiment to keyPhrases and select send to view the key phrases for the example text.

  • Key Phrases REST Request

Check out the language support for the Text Analytics API here. If your language is supported please edit the JSON file to translate the text and show the functionality of the API above. There is an example of a French JSON file in sample-code/text-analytics-demo/sentiment-analysis-text-fr.json please edit this file as appropriate

If you have any issues running Postman, API Development Environment you can always run the REST API requests within the API docs for sentiment analysis and key phrase extraction. Select the data centre you are using and then enter your key in the box provided along with the sample body sample used in Postman

Task 3: Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services - Custom Vision

Using Microsoft Azure Custom Vision service you can start to build your own personalised image classification and object detection algorithms with very little code. In this exercise we will create a dog-breed classification algorithm using Dog images from the ImageNet open dataset created by Standford University

We have 7 Classes of dogs each with 30 images (available in a .zip file here)

  • Beagle
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Chihuahua
  • Eskimo Dog (aka Husky)
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Maltese

There is also a set of test images (not for training) in this .zip folder.

First create a Custom Vision instance in your Azure account.

  • Go to the Azure Portal main dashboard.
  • Click 'Create a Resource' in the top left
  • Search for 'Custom Vision'
  • On the description pane for Custom Vision click Create.
  • Enter details to create
    • a name for the service
    • select your subscription
    • [IMPORTANT] Please choose SOUTH CENTRAL US as the data centre
    • Choose the S0 tier for both 'Prediction pricing tier' and Training pricing tier
    • select the resource group you created previously for this project (e.g. ainights)
    • Click Create
  • Custom Vision Blade Details

Now we can build our classifier, navigate to and choose sign in. Sign in with your Azure credentials account

Accept the terms and conditions box to continue

Once loaded choose 'New Project' which opens a window to enter details

  • Name: choose a suitable name
  • Description: add a description of the classifier (example shown in image below)
  • Resource Group: choose the resource group you created your custom vision service in (example: ainights[SO])
  • Project Types: Classification
  • Classification Types: Multiclass (Single tag per image)
  • Domains: General
  • Create Custom Vision Project

Choose 'Create Project' and you will land on an empty workspace like below Empty Custom Vision Project

Now we can start adding images and assigning them tags to create our image classifier

In the top left, select 'Add images', browse for the first folder of images from the .zip folder - Beagle - and select all 30 of the images in the folder.

Add the tag 'beagle' to the Beagle dog images and select 'Upload 30 files'

Upload images of dogs

Once successful you receive a confirmation message and you should see your images are now available in the workspace

Successful upload

Now complete the same steps of uploading and tagging images for the other 6 dog categories in the folder. For each type of dog:

  • Click add images
  • Select the 30 new dog images
  • Add the class label (beagle, german-shepherd, maltese etc)
  • choose upload
  • confirm images uploaded into the workspace

Now you should have all categories uploaded and on the left hand side you can see your dog classes and you can filter depending on type of dog image

All images uploaded and tagged

Now you are ready to train your algorithm on the dog image data you have uploaded. Select the green 'Train' button in the top right corner

Once the training process is complete it will take you to the Performance tab. Here you will receive machine learning evaluation metrics for your model

Evaluation Metrics

Now we have a model we need to test the model. Choose the 'Quick Test' button in the top right (next to the train button) this will open a window where you can browse for a local image or enter a web URL.

Browse for an image in the test folder (images the model have not been trained on) and upload. The image will be analysed and a result returned of what dog the model thinks it is (prediction tag) and the models confidence of its result (prediction probability)

Quick Test

Repeat this process for other images in the test folder to see how the model performs

If you click on the 'Predictions' tab on the top toolbar - you should see all the test images you have submitted. This section is for re-training, as you get new data you can add this to your model to improve its performance. The images are ordered by importance - the image, which if classified correctly, will add the most new information to the model is listed first. Whereas the last image might be very similar to other images already learnt by the model so this is less important to classify correctly.


To add these images to the model - select the first image, review the results the model provided and then in the 'My Tags' box enter the correct tag and click 'save and close'

Add Re-training Tag

This image will disappear from the your predictions workspace and be added to the training images workspace. Once you add a few new images and tags you can re-train the model to see if there are improvements.

To use this model within applications you need the prediction details. Therefore, you have to go to the Performance tab from the top bar, click the Publish button and provide a name for this published iteration.

Prediction URL Location

Prediction URL Name

You can now select the Prediction URL button to gain all information you need to create a Postman call to your API, by setting the URL, the Header and the Body (using both an image or an image URL)

Prediction in Postman

Great work! you have created your specialised dog classification model using the Azure Custom Vision Service

Task 3: Build Custom AI into an Application - Azure Logic Apps

In this section you will build an Azure Logic App to consume your Custom Vision AI dog classification application

First we need to create two Azure Storage Accounts.

Go to the azure portal and click create new resource in the top left corner. Select the section Storage and choose the first option Storage Account.

Azure Storage Account

We are going to create two storage accounts:

  • one for the images to be dropped into to be processed (called ainightstor)
  • another for the results after processing to be uploaded to (called resultainights)

Complete the process below twice so you have two storage accounts in total

On the storage account creation page enter options to setup your storage account:s

  • Subscription: choose your subscription
  • Resource Group: choose the resource group you have been using for this workshop (e.g. ainights)
  • Storage Account Name: (must be unique) enter an all lowercase storage account name. Such as ainightsstor(yourname) or resultsainights(yourname) - append your name to the end of the storage account name so you know its unique (remove the brackets)
  • Location: your closest data center
  • Performance: Standard
  • Account Kind: Blob Storage
  • Replication: Locally-redundant storage (LRS)
  • Access Tier: Hot

Select Review + create, confirm validation is passed and then select Create

Create Azure Storage Account

Once your deployment is complete, got to the resource and review the account settings. Select Blobs to review your empty blob storage account.

Select Blob Storage Account We need to add a container to the storage account to store our images and results.

Select the + Container button and create a name for the container

an example for the ainightsstor account would be images

an example for the resultsainights account would be results

For the public access level setting select Container (anonymous read access for containers and blobs) Create a container

Complete the above for an image storage account and a results storage account with the same settings

Now we will create a Logic App - this will connect your image storage account to your AI classification service and put the results in your results storage account

Head to the Azure Portal Homepage. We are going to use Event Grid, a service that detects triggers in an Azure subscription (in our case, when a new blob is created in your Azure Storage account). Before we build with this - we must register it.

Got to subscriptions in the left panel, select your subscription and find Resource Providers in the left pane. Once the resource providers are listed - search "event" and select Microsoft.EventGrid.

Register Event Grid

If this is not already status registered, select register from the toolbar

Register Event Grid selection

Registered Event Grid

Once registered with a green tick - go back to the Azure Portal Homepage. Select Create a Resource. Type Logic App and select the service

Logic App

Create the logic app by entering some setup detail like below:

  • Name: suitable name for the dog classification application
  • Subscription: Choose your subscription
  • Resource Group: (use existing e.g. ainights) select the resource group you have been working for the whole workshop
  • Location: choose the data center closest to you
  • Log Analytics: off

Choose Create

Logic App Option

Once created, go to resource. From here we can create our logic process. Select Logic app designer from the left menu and then the When an Event Grid resource event occurs option

Logic App Trigger

Connect to Azure event grid by signing in using your Azure credentials

Event Grid Sign In

Once connected and you see a green tick, select continue.

Select the options below:

  • Subscription: your subscription
  • Resource Type: Microsoft.Storage.StorageAccounts
  • Resource Name: choose your image storage account (e.g. ainightsstor)
  • Event Type Item - 1: Microsoft.Storage.BlobCreated

Event Grid Options

Then choose next step. Type Parse JSON and select the parse JSON operator as part of the data Data Operations category

  • Content: select the box and from the Dynamic Content box on the right, select Body
  • Schema: select this box and enter the JSON schema provided in the logic-app-schema1 file

Parse JSON

Then choose next step. Type HTTP and select the HTTP option as below

HTTP Connection

Now we need to fill in the details of the REST API request - similar to using Postman App.

  • Method: POST
  • URI: enter Prediction URL from Custom Vision Service
  • Headers:
    • "Prediction-Key" : enter your prediction key from the custom vision service
    • "Content-Type" : "application/json"
  • Queries: enter nothing

HTTP info

Choose next step

Then choose next step. Type Parse JSON and select the parse JSON operator again as part of the data Data Operations category

  • Content: select the box and from the Dynamic Content box on the right, select Body
  • Schema: select this box and enter the JSON schema provided in the logic-app-schema2 file

the difference between the two parse JSON is, the first one parses the event grid response about the blob storage image URL, the second one parses the JSON from the custom vision service API call return

Parse JSON

Choose next step

type for each and select the grey control step called for each Once selected in the output from previous step box, select the box and from Dynamic content select predictions from the Parse JSON 2 category

For each prediction

Choose Add an action

Search Control, select the control icon and then from the results, select Condition

If Statement

In the Condition box, select choose a value. From Dynamic content find Parse Json 2 and then probability

Set the condition to be probability greater than 0.7 (as shown below)

Condition value

In the If True box select Add an action

Search for Azure Blob Storage and select the icon for Create Blob

In connection name enter results and select your results blob storage account name from the listed options and select create

Connect to Result Blob Storage

In folder path, select the folder icon, far right, and choose the container name you created that is populated

Select the Blob name field and enter: result-(then from the Dynamic content box under Parse Json (1) select id)

Under Blob Content, select the field and in the Dynamic Content box on the right, select see more under the Parse Json 2 section. Then select tagName, enter a colon ":" and then select probability

Azure Blob Storage results options

Finally save the logic app in the top action bar

Once saved, lets test the app for the desired outcome. Select Run from the top action bar

Run Logic App to test

Now navigate to your images storage account (easy to find from the resource group section). Choose Blob and select the images container. In there you should see an upload button. Upload one of the images from the Dogs data testset folder

Upload Blob

Once uploaded, navigate back to your Logic App main page and review the runs history section at the bottom of the page. Select the successful run and review the inputs and outputs from the

Run History

All sections should have a green tick and you can select each one to view the input and output between the layers (this is also a great way to debug if it doesn't run as expected)

Logic app run successful

Finally navigate to your results blob storage account, select blob, enter the results container and review the file now created there. The contents of the file should show similar to the below - given the dog image input, the predicted class of the dog and also a confidence score


Clean up resources

Finally, If you don't expect to need these resources in the future, you can delete them by deleting the resource group. To do so, select the resource group for this workshop, select Delete, then confirm the name of the resource group to delete.

You can’t perform that action at this time.