Amazon.com, Inc.'s (AMZN) dominant cloud service Amazon Web Services (AWS) is now becoming more intelligent. But how advanced will AWS prove to be when compared with Microsoft Corporation's (MSFT) competing platform Azure?
Over the past week, we've chronicled the advances and advantages these platforms have tried to create over each other. Microsoft has even joined the foundation of Linux, its once-hated rival, with the hope of boosting the adoption of Azure. Amazon is now taking AWS a step further and is reportedly working on a new cloud service focused on a branch of artificial intelligence called deep learning or machine learning (ML), which helps train computers to recognize speech, images and objects.
"Amazon Machine Learning is a service that makes it easy for developers of all skill levels to use machine learning technology," according to a post on Amazon's website. "The service also provides visualization tools and wizards that guide you through the process of creating models without having to learn complex ML algorithms and technology."
Machine learning has already improved the quality and accuracy of fingerprint sensors on smartphones, which explains why Amazon is looking to fight off Microsoft to sell access to the technology. Beyond exceeding the capabilities of Azure, Amazon's deep learning service aims to surpass the wildly popular open source deep learning tools offered by Alphabet, Inc's (GOOGL) TensorFlow, which Google uses to improve services such as online ad targeting. (See also: 5 Lessons From Google's Machine Learning Development.)
In terms of implementation, Amazon says ML can obtain predictions for applications using simple application program interfaces (APIs) without having to create custom prediction generation code or manage any infrastructure. Meanwhile, Microsoft has since added machine learning tools and a number of features targeted at the Internet of Things.
Selecting between AWS, Azure or TensorFlow may ultimately come down to the wants and needs of each individual customer. But at the onset, it seems that machine learning technology is going to be the next battleground for market share. (See also: Cisco: Cloud Traffic to Quadruple by 2020.)