Microsoft releases open-source toolkit to accelerate deep learning

A toolkit used across Microsoft to achieve breakthroughs in artificial intelligence is generally available to the public via an open-source license, a team of researchers and software engineers announced today. “The 2.0 version of the toolkit is now in full release,” said Chris Basoglu, a partner engineering manager at Microsoft. He has played a key role in developing Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (previously known as CNTK). The full release of Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit 2.0 for use in production-grade and enterprise-grade deep learning workloads includes hundreds of new features incorporated since the beta to streamline the process of deep learning and to ensure the toolkit’s seamless integration throughout the wider AI ecosystem. New with the full release today is support for Keras, a user-friendly open-source neural network library that is popular with developers working on deep learning applications. Code written for Keras, explained Basoglu, can now take advantage of the performance and speed available from the Cognitive Toolkit without requiring any code change. Toolkit support for Keras is currently in public preview.”