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Google unveils new cloud tools aimed at democratising machine learning

AI is “the number one opportunity” associated with cloud computing, Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene told attendees at the company’s annual Next conference last night. But while AI has the power to transform business, very few companies have the talent needed to capitalise on the technology.

Google plans to change this.

Earlier this year, it unveiled AutoML Vision, a cloud-based machine learning tool that enables developers with no ML experience to quickly categorise images. Now, it is rolling out the tool to another field of data: language.

“We’re introducing two new AutoML offerings,” writes Google’s chief AI scientist Fei-Fei Li in a blog. “AutoML Natural Language helps you automatically predict custom text categories specific to domains our customers desire. And with AutoML Translation you can upload translated language pairs to train your own custom translation model.”

Two major publishers have already signed up. Hearst Newspapers is using the natural language tool to categories its content, while Nikkei Group is using the translation tool to distribute journalism in local languages around the world.

Google currently trails Amazon and Microsoft in terms of cloud revenue. CCS Insight’s vice-president of enterprise research, Nicholas McQuire, blames lack of awareness among CIOs, but says AI remains “one of Google’s most important areas of advantage against the market leaders.

“[The new AI tools] will be big boosts to its AI strategy as customers increasingly look for more industry and customisation tools as part of their early forays into the technology,” he added.