Microsoft announces AI partnership with Preferred Networks to integrate deep learning Chainer technology into Azure

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On his blog, Steve “Guggs” Guggenheimer announced Microsoft’s new AI partnership with Preferred Networks to integrate Chainer technology with Azure. Guggs recounted his experience making the announcement yesterday at de:code 2017 in Tokyo, Japan with a little help from his colleagues, Alex Kipman and Joseph Siroph.

Guggs talked about how one of his favorite parts of his job is talking with developers from countries all over the world and hear their feedback. During the de:code 2017 keynote, Guggs spoke about Microsoft’s AI strategy as well as other Microsoft developments in Japan.

One of Guggs’ key points in the keynote was the new partnership with Preferred Networks, the developer behind Chainer, a deep learning AI framework. Chainer can be used by developers across different industries to take advantage of AI and its deep learning technologies that use IoT to make business processes easier and more efficient.

Guggs noted three parts of the Microsoft and Preferred Networks partnership:

  • Technology – We will work with Preferred Networks to integrate their deep learning technology (Chainer, ChainerMN, etc) with Microsoft Azure. Chainer MN (multi-node) will have friction-free deployment on hyper-scale GPU clusters to reduce training time for deep neural networks. In addition, we will help make Chainer work great on Windows and in SQL Server 2017 Machine Learning features.
  • Education – We will work together to create deep learning training from beginner to advanced, in order to grow the base of developers with expertise on deep learning technologies. The advanced classes will teach how to apply practical deep learning to actual business cases.
  • Collaboration – Working together, we will drive the practical use of deep learning in the market to make digital transformation happen in several industries. We will establish a partner ecosystem to do artificial intelligence consulting and deep learning implementations that solve business challenges by utilizing deep learning.

With its partnership with Preferred Networks, Microsoft wants to help developers use Chainer to create better AI-powered applications to help manage and solve enterprise users’ biggest issues. The entire de:code 2017 event in Tokyo, Japan is available on Channel 9.