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Amazon Launched New AI Platform Finally Available for Outside Developers

By Eva Magno | Dec 01, 2016 12:14 PM EST
Google vice president of product management Mario Queiroz shows off a Google Home virtual assistant device that could challenge the Amazon Echo at the Internet firm's annual developers conference in the Silicon Valley city of Mountain View, California on
(Photo : Getty Images/AFP) Google vice president of product management Mario Queiroz shows off a Google Home virtual assistant device that could challenge the Amazon Echo at the Internet firm's annual developers conference in the Silicon Valley city of Mountain View, California on May 18, 2016.

Amazon launched its new Amazon Artificial Intelligence platform, which will bring its in-house machine learning smarts to outside developers.

Amazon announced the launch during its "re:Invent event in Las Vegas December 1. For now, this new platform still offers three tools and will continue to add more soon, Tech Crunch reported. Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy said that the company has extensive background in machine learning, but it hasn't been so vocal about it. Amazon has thousands of people focused on developing AI and they do a lot of it, according to Jassy.

These engineers aim to develop AI to accelerate search and discovery, improve logistics and product recommendations, and make inventory management more efficient.

Besides artificial intelligence, Jassy also stressed during the event that Amazon is committed to other areas such as hybrid cloud, and analytics, Forbes reported. Amazon has leveraged its artificial intelligence and deep learning resources to improve their retail business and enhance customer service.

The first tool that the company will offer from its AI division is the "Rekognition," which is an image recognition software. Google and Microsoft already has this software, which allows its users to recognize scenes and objects. Amazon's "Rekognition" is even smart enough to know the breed of the dog seen by the device.

The second tool that Amazon will offer to outside developers is the Amazon Polly. This software is a text-to-speech service that can bring life-like speech. This software was developed to solve some of the major challenges in the speech generation, according to Amazon.

Polly can recognize homographs, that there are words spelled the same, but are pronounced differently and have different meanings. Polly has 47 voices, both male and female. Also, it can recognize 24 different languages.

The third is "Lex," which is a technology that essentially powers Amazon's Alexa service. It lets its users develop conversational applications that has the capacity for multi-step conversations. Developers will start off designing their own conversations using the Lex Console. After that, they can train the bot using a few phrases.

According to Amazon, "Lex" allows developers to create chatbox and other applications that offers lifelike interactions.

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