AI (Artificial Intelligence) will be one of the trends in 2017, the two big cloud providers are investing a large amount of money into developing new technologies in this area. Amazon Web Services (AWS) released in December 2016 several new services customers can acquire within their cloud offerings: Polly, Rekognition and Lex.
The idea behind AI services within AWS is to allow developers build increasingly intelligent applications that can learn exponentially about users’ interaction, inputs, and parameters and transform these data into valuable information for organizations.
In a statement, Raju Gulabani (VP, databases, analytics and AI for AWS) said:
“The combination of better algorithms and broad access to massive amounts of data and cost-effective computing power provided by the cloud is making AI a reality for application developers”. Additionally, he mentioned about the learning curve in Amazon that allowed these products come to light: “Thousands of machine learning and deep learning experts across Amazon have been developing AI technologies for years to predict what customers might like to read, to drive efficiencies in our fulfillment centers through robotics and computer vision technologies, and to give customers our AI-powered virtual assistant, Alexa.“.
The AI cloud services offered by Amazon allow developers to avoid large the intricate process on creating deep learning algorithms and use this on-demand service from AWS. Let’s take a quick review about these new AWS AI services:
Polly is the service to allow developers create apps that can turn text into speech, like newsreaders, e-learning platforms or provide additionally accessibility options in their applications. The process from which Polly can make these transformations will be able to return an audio stream that can be played directly within the app or provide the alternative to download the file in a standardized audio file (if the application allows you to do it). The service currently supports 24 languages using 47 different voices.
Rekognition (yes, with a K) will be the platform that will allow image analysis easily for developers to include this feature within their applications. The image analysis will include, of course, face, objects and scenes recognition. This service is maybe one of the most common for people in these days, thanks to Facebook and iOS embedded image analysis. We can think this as a “basic feature” because we cannot think about taking pictures from our phones without considering not having the option within basic applications to recognize faces and people.
The functionalities behind it go beyond that of course, applications can provide specific searches and data analysis by analyzing images within a keyword.
“Alexa, play music”. Do you keep finding Amazon’s recommendation around Dot, Tap, and Echo products? This service within AWS will offer this capability to developers to create their own “Alexa”, that name we see so often on Amazon’s web site publicizing Dot. No surprise on why the service is called “Lex”.
Developers can add natural language capabilities to their apps, providing the possibility to understand what people are saying, learn from it and take an action.
- Azure Getting Bigger in the UK: New Services for Power BI, SQL Server and Azure Functions
- Azure Offers now “Bot-as-a-Service” as a new “Serverless” Compute Service