December 17, 2018 Last updated December 10th, 2018 3,224 Reads share

Amazon Artificial Intelligence – a Step Ahead of the Rest

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“Predicting the future isn’t magic, its artificial intelligence.” – Dave Waters

Amazon has never ceased to amaze!!! Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been instrumental in revolutionizing digitization and cloud computing in the tech world for the last few years. And now, keeping abreast with the technology wave, AWS enters the exciting world of AI with novel offerings that leverage the potential of artificial intelligence across the globe. AWS AI is the face of the future, as foreseen by Amazon. Artificial intelligence on AWS is the latest jargon today in the world of digital transformation and a cutting-edge innovation by AWS. Amazon went all-in on AI and big data at AWS re Invent 2016. That was when AWS AI was announced with innovative features like artificial intelligence and machine learning.

In recent years, machine learning has turned out to be highly effective and along with in-depth learning, has proven to be a great booster to advanced technologies like speech, computer vision, and natural language processing. Tech giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc. are all depending on AI and machine learning to grow their business and multiply profits multi-fold. Amazon AI has unleashed the potential of machine learning to the finest.


An Introduction to Amazon Artificial Intelligence

Amazon AI is a set of AI services that offer learn machining and deep learning technologies for AWS clients. These services are available through an API call or the AWS management console. These Amazon product range possesses the competence to have text/voice chat with clients using the ChatOps interface. It can perceive human languages, convert text into speech, identify places based on images and objects. These services are scalable and hence it turns out simple for a developer to include the technology in an application without much of learning curve.

AWS AI is ideal for customers who are already subscribed to AWS and would not wish to divide their hosting within different platforms. As for its usage, it is quite simple – deploy an Amazon Linux or Ubuntu instance using Amazon’s AWS Deep Learning AMI.

“AI is ‘A core, transformative way by which we’re rethinking how we’re doing everything.’” – Sundar Pichai

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence on AWS – A Fruitful Confluence

As explained by Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, machine learning and artificial intelligence is a powerful combination, offering services that seemed impossible a few years back. Machine learning is the step towards a digitized future. Especially for AWS loyalists, machine learning is the new face of the future that can escalate the speed at which your business would flourish. Thanks to Amazon, the AWS Marketplace is offering a variety of machine learning and AI software solutions from different vendors, to maximize organizational RoI.

 “It is a renaissance, it is a golden age. We are solving problems with machine learning and artificial intelligence that were in the realm of science fiction for the last several decades. Natural language understanding, machine vision problems, it really is an amazing renaissance.” – Jeff Bezos

Highlights that the Amazon CEO focussed upon, in context with AI’s confluence with ML:

  • AI with machine learning is a horizontal enabling layer and a highly sophisticated technology enabler
  • This combination will empower and enhance businesses belonging to different fraternities
  • There is a lot of innovation by Amazon in areas like voice assistants – Alexa and Echo, prime air delivery drones, natural language understanding, machine vision systems and more
  • There is a lot of value addition machine learning is offering behind the curtains such as improvising search results, product references, inventory predicting etc.
  • The cutting-edge techniques will be accessible to all, even those who don’t possess the requisite proficiency
  • The techniques will be easy, secure and accessible to all industry segments

Basic reasons why machine learning on AWS is a winner:

  • AWS offers machine learning for everyone, be it an ML researcher, data scientist or developer
  • API-driven ML services are available to offer the latest functionalities like computer vision, speech, language analysis, and chatbot functionality
  • With role permissions and controlled access, strong encryption protocols, data is highly secure
  • Pay-as-you-go model helps in choosing services as and when needed
  • ML services have a deep platform integration with external systems and databases
  • There is a broad framework support for popular machine learning frameworks
  • Comprehensive analytics is available along with BI, data warehousing, batch/stream processing

“The future is of intelligent agents.” – Dennis Mortenson

The Amazon AI Product Stack


Let us go through the AI services of Amazon, a little more in detail:

AI Services

  • Amazon Recognition

The Amazon Recognition service area makes use of facial, object and scene recognition for analysis of images and thereby brings out final outputs about their characteristics. It offers image search and faces comparison features that can be leveraged during development. Pre-programmed and deep neural network infrastructure is utilized for labeling different objects and people involved.

  • Amazon Polly

Amazon Polly is a speech enhancing service areas that facilitate the developers to addon natural sounding speech competencies in different applications. Via a robust software development kit of the AWS console, text messages can be sent to Amazon Polly to produce human-like speech. There is a variety of over 40 voices that can be narrated in over 20 different languages.

  • Amazon Lex

Amazon Lex acts as a conversational bridge between components. It helps the development teams to construct interfaces within applications that can converse with each other. It uses the latest technologies like automatic speech recognition for converting speech to text and natural language processing to perceive what is being spoken. The deep learning methodology lets the teams create applications that can possess realistic communications, just like Amazon Alexa does. Even designing and developing chatbots is feasible with ease.

  • Amazon Machine Learning

As already detailed in the previous section, AI and ML are great counterparts through AWS. Amazon ML facilitates developers to identify patterns in the bulk of user-generated information via different algorithms and based on that, brings up mathematical models which can be used for futuristic analysis.

AI Platforms

  • Amazon EMR

Based on Apache Hadoop, a Java-based framework, Amazon EMR assists bulk data processing in a distributed computing framework. It is used for analyzing data in various situations like financial / log analysis, machine learning, data warehousing etc. it also supports workloads depending on different technologies like HBase, Spark etc.

  • Spark

Apache Spark is natively supported in Amazon EMR with which you can swiftly create managed Apache Spark clusters from the AWS management console. You can also make the best use of Amazon EMR features and create interactive notebooks for data exploration. You can utilize deep learning frameworks like Apache MXNet with these applications.

AI Frameworks

  • AWS Deep Learning AMI

The AWS Deep Learning AMI offer requisite infrastructure, environment, and tools that are needed for fastening deep learning through the cloud. This is mainly needed by those who are practicing machine learning. Making use of popular deep learning frameworks, AMIs like Amazon EC2 can be quickly launched. Furthermore, there are no separate charges for the AMIs. Once you pay for your AWS resources, the same can be utilized.

Flywheel – Management Strategy by Amazon AI

A unique concept, Flywheel is termed as Amazon’s tactic to AI. In layman terms, a flywheel denotes a tool used to store rotational energy. It helps by saving on energy when the machines aren’t working, keeping the energy parameters constant. That is what Amazon has been trying to emphasize on – keeping the AI innovation spreading in all corners of the organization asking for further ideas and novelties.

Going by the flywheel approach, Amazon AI has unleashed the potential of a circular mechanism that vents out an increasing advantage for business. Here are some of the evident features of the flywheel strategy:

  • The flywheel approach spreads around other teams/locations based on the new findings around machine learning
  • These new findings fuel innovation into their daily production operations across teams
  • The explorations done in one area of Amazon acts as a reagent for AI and ML in other areas too
  • It has become a grounding to the growing Amazon business, binding the organization closely
  • It has been a novel concept unlike other enterprises who silo their AI methodologies

Interesting Reads about Amazon Artificial Intelligence

Amazon’s Peep into the Future of AI – Surely A Future to Look For!

There is no looking back for Amazon AI. Here are some of the innovative functionalities that are just a few steps away, as foreseen by the Amazon stalwarts:

  • Amazon’s Alexa voice-activated software integrating seamlessly with other products
  • Indoor drones that could pick items off a sky-high shelf in Amazon warehouses
  • Amazon’s increasing interest in healthcare, to diagnose mental and physical health through voice footages
  • Robotic garments that help clothing organizations and their customers to garner increased mobility
  • Involvement in planetary science, gravitational waves, and pulsars
  • A more humanlike and personalized Alexa, a home of the future
  • Custom AI chips for Alexa that would power future echo devices
  • Cloud-based voice software powering everything from car dashboards to consumer wearables
  • Major investments in flying warehouse designs, planes, ships, and drone technology

And the list seems to keep increasing…

On a Parting Note, With Eyes Laid on the Interesting Future of Amazon AI  

Amazon Web Cloud Solutions offered by the cloud computing division of Amazon has been on a constant run to reinvent itself as one of the leading stalwarts in digital transformation. With artificial intelligence development as today’s jargon, AWS is all set to offer the best of AI service clubbed with machine learning and deep learning. It would be worth a watch to witness how AI technology will unfold in the future, in the hands of Amazon.

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Ankit Kumar

Ankit Kumar

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