Microsoft and Amazon Collaborate on AI Again

Amazon and Microsoft are teaming up in artificial intelligence for the second time in the recent months. It was in August 2017 that the two tech giants allowed their virtual assistants Alexa and Cortana to talk with each other. Following the path of collaboration, Amazon and Microsoft are jointly launching new tools that will make it easy for developers to explore open source artificial intelligence. The developers can now use a Python-based API named Gluon, to work easily with MXNet. MXNet is an AI framework supported by AWS Cloud.

In the immediate future, Gluon will open the gates to the effective usage of the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit, which is an open sourced framework meant for deep learning. Amazon and Microsoft are handholding to research on how they can adopt other frameworks into the process.

An interesting fact to note here is that Google is not featured anywhere in this open source collaboration. Google’s TensorFlow AI framework is apparently more popular among researchers than the Cognitive Toolkit and MXNet. Presently, Google is not promoting Gluon. Those who wish to use TensorFlow AI can do so via a Google-backed Python API called Keras. Eric Boyd, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s AI and Research Group mentioned in an official statement that “it is important for the industry to work together and pool resources to build technology that benefits the broader community.”

The collaboration of Microsoft with Amazon to develop the Gluon interface will lead to an AI ecosystem, where the developers will have more freedom to choose and explore.

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