One of the major “wow!” moments in the keynote where SQL Server 2016 was first introduced was a demo that automated the process classifying images of galaxies in a huge database of astronomical images.
The SQL Server Blog has since published a step-by-step tutorial on implementing the galaxy classifier in SQL Server (and the code is also available on GitHub). This updated version of the demo uses the new MicrosoftML package in Microsoft R Server 9, and specifically the
rxNeuralNet function for deep neural networks. The tutorial recommends using the Azure NC class of virtual machines, to take advantage of the GPU-accelerated capabilities of the function, and provides details on using the SQL Server interfaces to train the neural netowrk and run predictions (classifications) on the image database. For the details, follow the link below.