Any article on the web that starts with terms like “Machine Learning” and “Artificial Intelligence,” more or less drops us hints about the future. Although it all seems like preparing a foundation for the time ahead, things have started picking up pace already. It’s difficult to deny that even though machine learning and A.I. sound more like future technologies, we all have been using it already. Some of the notable examples include Google Home, Amazon Echo, Google Photos etc.
What’s more, smartphone manufacturers are trying their luck nowadays with these technologies. Care to think of Apple Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and newborn Samsung Bixby? It often reminds me of what Elon Musk once said, “Great companies are built on great products.” One such company I’m going to talk about in this article is Amazon.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in his recent email, ensured shareholders that the business is engaged in the practical application of machine learning for many years already. Things got interesting when he explained that Amazon has autonomous Prime Air delivery drones, Go convenience store that puts an end to checkout lines, and Alexa cloud-based AI assistant. It ultimately goes on to show how Amazon is maintaining its foothold in this entire A.I. saga.
Bezos, however, didn’t stop there. He further connected dots to the company’s cloud services platform: Amazon Web Services. “Inside AWS, we’re excited to lower the costs and barriers to machine learning and AI so organizations of all sizes can take advantage of these advanced techniques,” he said.
In other news, Amazon currently has a number of jobs in A.I., looking for engineers, development/product managers, and Scientists. Hence it’s obvious, Amazon gives paramount importance to machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Going forward, let’s talk about some of the important machine learning and A.I. technologies at Amazon.
Amazon Alexa is an intelligent, A.I.-based voice-controlled personal assistant that powers Echo (more about it later). It is aimed at listening to your voice and translate it into commands so it can automate certain tasks and functions on Alexa-powered devices. Some of these tasks include playing music, turning the lights off/on, and placing online orders through Amazon.
Amazon Echo is a smart, IoT (Internet of Things)-enabled speaker that you can control using your voice. It boasts of a 9.2-inch (23.5 cm) tall cylindrical design. The device primarily streams music, thanks to Alexa voice assistant. Meaning, you can tell her (Alexa) what you want to listen, and that’s it! That aside, you can also lock the doors, turn the lights off/on, or keep shopping on Amazon.
Amazon Rekognition is a deep-learning-based image analysis that makes it easy for your applications to search, verify, and organise the content of pictures. Similar to Google Cloud Vision, Amazon Rekognition helps developers implement object detection, face detection, face search and compression solutions into their applications.
Amazon Polly is a cloud-based text to speech service that is aimed at converting text into more natural, humanlike speech. By using Amazon Polly, you can develop applications to strengthen relations with customers or increase engagement. All you have to do is pay for the number of characters you are looking to convert to speech, and you’re done.
One emerging technology that’s slowly picking up on social media and IM (instant messaging) services is bots. A lot of companies have their chatbots ready that interact with users. Amazon Lex is just all about that. It’s yet another cloud-based service by Amazon that integrates conversation bots into your applications so users can interact with it over texts as well as voice.
Unlike online e-commerce stores, Amazon Go is first of its kind brick-and-mortar store that offers groceries. The only difference, however, you aren’t supposed to queue up to checkout. Instead, it is based on ‘Just Walk Out’ tech that works in conjunction with your mobile app. How does it work you may ask. Well, you just have to pick up items and walk out of the store like a boss. The high-tech system detects all the items you have selected using RFID and charges a fee upon exit.
Amazon Prime Air
If what we’ve discussed so far isn’t enough, here comes Amazon Prime Air. It’s an autonomous drone-based delivery system that is aimed at bringing packages to customers in merely 30 minutes or less. Similar to driverless cars, Amazon drones can avoid obstacles — with more superiority and precision. After all, nobody can steer it into the tree unlike driverless cars, isn’t it?
What do you think is the future of all services mentioned above? Let me know in comments.