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May 27, 2016

AWS reportedly testing secret AI cloud service

News: Amazon looks to rival Google and IBM in the AI space.

By CBR Staff Writer

Amazon is looking to launch a new service for businesses which will enable them to run artificial intelligence (AI) software on the cloud.

Currently, the company is testing the new service, which is aimed at stepping up competition with rivals such as Google, Microsoft and IBM, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

The service aims to create more powerful applications that can perform tasks like pattern recognition and speech transcription, by allowing businesses to run a range of AI software.

Some AWS clients are already testing the new services, sources told the publication, requesting anonymity, as the announcement regarding the roll out hasn’t been made.

An Amazon spokeswoman said that the company is currently working on other machine learning capabilities for cloud customers.

Google, Amazon and Microsoft have started rolling out special programming software called frameworks to enable developers to create and control neural networks.

The new service from Amazon will allow businesses to run various frameworks on cloud. They can also run frameworks of its rivals such as Google’s TensorFlow, sources said.

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Last November, Google announced the open source release of TensorFlow, its second-generation machine learning system.

TensorFlow is a followup to the company’s original DistBelief engine, which was used to make speech recognition work better and build image search into Google Photos.

In February, Google open sourced TensorFlow to help developers in taking their machine learning models into production.

John Dinsdale, chief analyst and MD at Synergy Research Group, said that AWS does not "really need" to be concerned about Google’s data centre expansion.

Dinsdale told CBR: "It is a competitive market and they have to expect other cloud providers to be pushing hard. In one sense having a few huge providers all pushing hard helps to stimulate the overall market which is good for everyone.

"AWS has been incredibly successful at driving the market and maintaining a grip on market share leadership. Microsoft and IBM have been on a charge too."

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