Enhancing AI for Low Code Development with AI Builder

The Microsoft Power Platform has become an industry leading low-code development platform that enables developers of all skill levels to create unique solutions for business challenges.  Infusing AI into solutions can improve processes in many ways, including efficiency, accuracy, and ease of use.  As an example, we previously did a demonstration on how AI Builder works seamlessly with Power Automate to create a fully automated document processing solution.  At Microsoft Ignite, we announced some exciting new capabilities we are releasing for AI Builder.  These new features will further enable Power Platform developers to utilize AI for their business solutions.

The announced features are:

  • Bring your own model to AI Builder (GA)
  • Use AI in Power Apps with Power Fx (Preview)
  • Image classification with Lobe (Preview)
  • Enhancements to forms processing
  • AI Builder starter capacity now included

These features expand both the type and number of processes AI Builder can support.  Let’s look at some examples of how these enhancements can help your organization.


Bring your own model (BYOM)

With AI Builder, users can now bring their own AI model.  Model makers can connect their models into AI Builder, making them available to Power Platform makers within the organization.  These models can be used in Power Apps, Power Automate, and Dataverse, just like the out-of-the-box models offered natively with AI Builder (figure 1).

A diagram showing that your own AI models can be registered to AI Builder, along side the other Azure AI built-in models, to be used in Power Apps, Power Automate, and Dataverse

Figure 1. Bring your own model to AI Builder and use across Power Platform


Every day, data scientists create models. They can use any language, framework, or tooling.  The model can be hosted on any cloud.  Once the model is registered, it will appear as a model in AI Builder.  With BYOM for AI Builder, an organization can give access to sophisticated AI models within the low-code development environment of Power Platform so that all developers can use these models in critical business processes.  With BYOM, the Power Platform makers can create even richer, unique, and sophisticated business processes to ensure mission critical outcomes are done efficiently and accurately.  AI Builder’s BYOM also facilitates greater teamwork across an organization as scientists or subject matter experts combine skills with line of business owners to create business process solutions that offer optimal business outcomes.  By enabling BYOM, your organization leverages subject matter expertise with real business processes knowledge to create the best possible business solutions.

Bring your own model is now generally available. Learn more here. 


Use AI in Power Apps with Power Fx

Until now, the only way you could use AI in Power Apps was through our five AI Builder controls. This worked, but it was limited in the ways you could customize these AI controls, and it only supported five of our sixteen AI model types.

Now we are making it easier than ever to add intelligence to your Power Apps, directly through Power Fx. This gives you access to all the pre-trained and custom AI models, and can be used with any control within your app.

Using AI models through Power Fx will be in preview later this month.

A GIF showing a canvas app with an image of a car with a dent and adding a Power Fx expression to make an AI prediction of the type of car damage

Figure 2. Use AI with Power Fx in Power Apps


Use Lobe with AI Builder

We’re also excited to offer models built with Lobe in AI Builder (figure 3).  Lobe is a free, easy-to-use app from Microsoft that helps you build image classification models on your own computer. All you need to do is add and label images, and Lobe will automatically train a custom machine learning model for you. And now you can easily upload your model from Lobe directly into AI Builder to use in Power Apps and Power Automate.

Using Lobe with Power Platform will be available in preview in select regions later this month.

A picture of the Lobe application showing a model classifying different types of California plants

Figure 3. Lobe app for AI-powered image recognition which can be used with AI Builder


Enhancements to forms processing

One of the most popular and widely used AI Builder models is forms processing, currently used by many of our customers.   Now we’re happy to announce a number of exciting feature enhancements.  Users can now extract information from tagged checkboxes (figure 4).  This has been one of the most requested features from customers, so we’re pleased to deliver on this ask.

A GIF showing that you can now draw bounding boxes around checkboxes in forms for the model to train and learn

Figure 4. Extracting information from checkboxes with AI Builder


Additionally, building on the ability to extract information from tables, launched earlier this year, we enhanced the table tagging experience with a new grid tagging capability.   You can now simply define separators for rows and columns on your table to quickly tag a table (figure 5).  With the forms processing model, users can now also extract tables that span across pages. When defining the information to be extracted in the form processing training wizard, users can enable this experimental feature to define a new multi-page table type and tag your documents accordingly. This makes data tagging and extraction for multipage tables much more convenient and intuitive. Check out our docs page for details on this feature that is coming soon.

With the rapid growth of AI Builder and forms processing model usage, we’re very excited to announce that forms processing now accepts documents in 73 languages including Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish among many others. Review the full list of supported languages.  Finally, the document automation toolkit, which provides a standard end-to-end solution for AI-powered document processing is now generally available.


A GIF showing that you can now more easily create tables for the model to understand and learn

Figure 5. New grid tagging capability to enhance extraction of information from tables


New AI Builder capacity 

We want to make it easy for everyone to get started with AI Builder, a premium service in the Power Platform. Today, you can try out all the capabilities of AI Builder with a free trial but adding AI to apps and flows requires AI Builder capacity.

To help make it easier to get started, we added 250 credits for Power Apps per App license and 500 credits for Power Apps User license. These credits are visible in the Power Platform Admin Center.  Currently it must be assigned to an environment before it can be used. In December, this process will become totally seamless. All non-assigned credits will be consumable on any environment without any admin action required, meaning you can more easily start adding intelligence to your solutions today.


Get started with AI Builder today

Learn more about AI Builder and get started using sophisticated AI Models in your Power Platform business solutions. Additionally, learn more about the Power Platform and check out the links below.  Also, check out some of the great sessions at Microsoft Ignite which cover topics on the Power Platform so you can start creating low-code business solutions to enhance your business.