Microsoft's new image recognition tools could tackle offensive video content

Microsoft has created new image recognition tools that could help flag offensive content in videos and stop businesses running adverts alongside them.

In March, YouTube owner Google was criticised by Government ministers after it emerged taxpayer-funded adverts were found to have appeared alongside extremist content on the video platform.

Several high-profile businesses suspended their advertising with YouTube over the incident.

The new Video Indexer and Custom Vision Search tools can be used to recognise images and even faces within videos, helping to better identify their content, Microsoft said.

Google and Amazon have both created similar tools for recognising images.

The new technology was announced during Microsoft’s developer conference – Build – in Seattle.
During the event, the tech giant also announced a new translation tool that can enable users to translate a PowerPoint presentation into another language in real time.

The software, which is still being tested, would enable users to translate all their slide text into 10 different languages without changing any formatting.

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella also revealed the company’s Windows 10 software is now on more than 500 million devices.

“We should empower people with technology,” Nadella said during his keynote speech.
“People have to be in the loop. Let’s amplify their capability, amplify their ingenuity.”

Following the success of the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers, it was also announced both HP and Intel are working on devices that will include Cortana, Microsoft’s own smart assistant.

The annual conference is used by the firm to lay out some of its plans for the coming year and to give developers early access to its new software.