JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images
show image

Oscar Williams

News editor

AWS Reinvent: Amazon rolls out 13 ML services in bid to fend off Microsoft and Google

Amazon Web Services unveiled more than a dozen new machine learning services at its annual customer conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to secure its position as the market leader in public cloud computing.

The technology giant currently dominates the sector and has seen startling growth in recent years. But revenue growth slowed in August and the company is now facing mounting competition from Microsoft and Google.

The underdog of the so-called cloud wars, Google has attempted to distinguish itself from its two more established rivals over the last year by rolling out a range of machine learning and AI tools.

Earlier this month, it unveiled an AI Hub that provides a “one-stop destination for plug-and-play ML content, including pipelines, Jupyter notebooks, TensorFlow modules, and more”. It made Google-developed machine learning tools available to all businesses for the first time.

Now AWS appears to be fighting back. At AWS Reinvent yesterday, the company announced 13 new machine learning services and capabilities, including a machine learning market place and a tool called SageMaker Ground Truth, which lets data scientists more easily annotate and analyse datasets.

“Machine learning is moving quickly, with new models and algorithms from academia and industry appearing virtually every week,” AWS said in a statement. “Amazon SageMaker includes some of the most popular models and algorithms built-in, but to make sure developers continue to have access to the broadest set of capabilities, the new AWS Marketplace for Machine Learning includes over 150 algorithms and models (with more coming every day) that can be deployed directly to Amazon SageMaker.”

In light of the announcements, Nick McQuire, head of AI research at CCS Insight, warned that Amazon’s rivals might struggle to keep pace: “All together AWS’s reinvent ML announcements illustrate not only its growing leadership in this domain but also represent some of the most significant advances we have seen in the machine learning market to date.”

He added that 90 announcements relating to Sagemaker this year were the “driving force behind its 250 per cent growth year on year of its AI tools”. “It bodes ominously for rivals Microsoft and Google in the high stakes cloud wars.”