Artificial Intelligence Becoming a Reality Thanks to the Cloud

June 23, 2017

For decades we’ve heard about the potential for artificial intelligence (AI) to become part of our everyday lives. But, it hasn’t really come to fruition in the general market. Why? The amount of data storage and processing required for AI to work was just too vast to make it useful.  Cloud computing may offer the data powerhouse AI has been waiting for. 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) are currently using a variety of AI-based programs, for customers as well as internally, to automate what were previously painstaking, laborious tasks. For example, their customer CSPAN can now automatically identify Congress people speaking on the floor of the House or Senate, saving someone from having to manually annotate those videos. And they aren’t the only ones putting AI to work.

“Microsoft currently offers more than 20 such “cognitive services”, such as analyzing images, known as computer vision, and language comprehension. Cloud-delivered services like these are starting to proliferate. AWS, for example, has added predictive analytics — data mining to forecast trends — to its cloud services, opening up machine-learning algorithms first developed for internal use.

In May, Google announced that application program interfaces (APIs), tools used to develop software, would be available so others could tap into three of its in-house services: translation, speech recognition and computer vision. Google said its speech recognition API could turn a client’s audio file into a written transcript in 50 languages.

Such technologies have many potential applications. Facial recognition technology, for instance, could lead to more effective security and access control systems. In retail, this same technology could alert staff to the identity or interests of potential customers and help them make a sale.

Meanwhile, many of the first uses of technology that “understands” language have focused on customer assistance, replacing the rigid menus in telephone response systems.

This has been followed by experiments with language capabilities. These are being embedded in many intelligent agents, such as digital personal assistants and chatbots, to discover what types of interaction with computers work best in conversational form.

Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft, calls this approach “conversation as a platform”. It is a development that could be more significant than the touchscreens that triggered the smartphone revolution.

For example, voice-responsive AI systems now handle fairly simple customer requests, like dealing with minor banking queries or ordering a pizza. The next probable step is to develop voice AI services so they can integrate information from different sources, such as digital diaries, online maps and corporate websites, and co-ordinate meeting friends and car rides with visits to restaurants and cinemas for users. “(from an article published by Financial Times)

We have seen the many clear benefits of the cloud for everyday operations, but the software interfaces are just the tip of the iceberg. The power of the cloud and development of AI where is where clients will be able to leverage the strength of both cloud and API interface. If you are interested in moving your data and operations to the cloud, be certain that you are working with a cloud solutions provider that understands your needs today and your plans for tomorrow.

Corporate Technologies Group can be that partner. We are vendor-agnostic. We have strategic partnerships with over 140 different Cloud, VoIP, and WAN network service providers and we understand the world of API interface. Not all service providers are able to offer this integration, we can help you navigate the API and Cloud World.  We support clients from network design to implementation, post-installation support and remediation. We can ensure your infrastructure is built to suit your business needs now and into the future.