Democratization of Artificial Intelligence use: A great opportunity for companies
In a previous post we presented the factors that have triggered the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in general and Deep Learning in particular and why they have become the next big thing that will change our lives again over the next decade. The conclusion was, that in the end, Computing Power, provided by massive parallel hardware, was the real enabler. This could potentially be a problem for a small and medium enterprises, because they cannot afford to build these types of IT infrastructures.
As we presented in the post, fortunately, we are now entering into an era of computation democratization for companies, thanks to Cloud Computing. Big data centers of 28.000 square meters with thousands of servers inside are within their reach. Cloud computing allows small and medium enterprises to access the scale of computing power that was previously only available to large organizations or governments.
Furthermore, cloud providers are now offering a working scalable implementation of Artificial Intelligence algorithms as a Service (AI-as-a-Service). AI as a Service (AIaaS) is an umbrella definition of automated and semi-automated cloud AI services that can be bridged with internal company IT infrastructures through REST APIs.
This implies that it is within reach of almost everyone, because it is an on-demand pay- as –you- go service based on the time used. This is disruptive, because right now, it allows small and large software developers from small and medium enterprises to use and put into practically automated production, the most common artificial intelligence algorithms.
Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM are leading cloud AIaaS services that allow for fast model training and deployment. The following links could help if you are interested in learning more about these AIaaS services:
- Amazon AIaaS are available on two levels: predictive analytics with Amazon Machine Learning and the SageMaker tool for quick model building and deployment.
- Microsoft offers its services though Azure Machine Learning that can be divided into two main categories: Azure Machine Learning Studio and Cortana Intelligence Gallery.
- Google offers a Predicion API and a Google ML Engine.
- IBM offers AIaaS services though its Watson Analytics.
- There are also solutions that come from startups, like PredicSis and BigML.
Cloud computing has revolutionized industries by democratizing computation and completely changing the way businesses operate. Artificial Intelligence will lead the next revolution. Success depends largely on the creativity of companies and no longer on technology. Their ability to change and adapt in order to use artificial intelligence, will allow them to compete better in the market with new products and services.
In the past, a lot of companies wished they had started thinking earlier about their Internet strategy. I’m convinced that in a few years from now there will be a number of companies that wish they had started thinking earlier about their AI strategy. I hope that you are not one of these companies! Act now!
In reality, this post was intended for my CC-MEI course’s students (that should work with AIaaS link provided in this post), although I think it may be of interest to other students and it is the reason I share it though this blog.