A couple of days ago, I saw an interesting announcement that said a new Microsoft Azure Decision Service was released. See: http://hunch.net/?p=4464948. My initial reaction was, “What the heck does that mean?” So I investigated.
As far as I can tell after just an hour or so, Microsoft Azure Decision Service (I’ll call it MADS) is a set of software that you deploy to Azure, meaning a.) you have to have an Azure account, and b.) you pay to use it.
Some Cloud services, like Azure Machine Learning, are canned in the sense that the service is there on Azure and anyone with a billing account can pay to use it (or use it for free for small, non-serious purposes). The service includes data storage for all users.
The Microsoft Azure Decision Service is different. You have to deploy your own instance of the service, along with the associated SQL storage to hold your input and output data.
Well, I have an Azure account for my job that allows me to create things in Azure so I gave MADS a try. I followed the deploy instructions and after some help from the MADS team (my original Azure Resource Group name was too long), got a deployment up and running.
I briefly went through one of the demos. The goal of the demo is to create a decision rule that will mark one of two possible magazine articles (one about artificial intelligence, and one about the Federal Reserve) as relevant or not relevant to a person based on the person’s characteristics (age, gender, location, industry).
That’s all I have to say now because that’s all I think I understand. I need to explore some more when I have time.