From the giants of tech, Machine Learning (ML) is increasingly offered as an API or service. Instead of having to learn complex algorithms and play with hyperparameters, you can take advantage of pre-trained models. At Devoxx UKTara Walker is talking about Amazon’s offerings. We asked her what is available, and how it is useful.


Is Machine Learning a necessary skill for the average developer?

I believe that machine learning and AI are great skills for developers. There is a trend of more and more industries, even traditional ones, using machine learning to gain business insights and build strategies based on the predictive analytics ML can provide. Developers with ML and AI skills will be needed to build the next wave of applications and solutions.

Can a developer with no Machine Learning experience get started with Amazon’s APIs?

Absolutely! We have AI services that allow developers of any skill level to get started. This includes those with no Machine Learning experience. The services allow developers to work directly with Amazon AI services via API, CLI, or the AWS console.

What are the most useful features of Amazon’s AI offering?

Since AWS provides scalable, pre-trained and pre-tuned managed AI Services, developers are not required to have any previous artificial intelligence or deep learning knowledge in order to get started using Artificial Intelligence in their solutions.

Can Machine Learning be cloud native? How is the overhead of training algorithms on huge data sets minimized?

With Amazon AI managed services, AWS provides access to AI technologies for ordinary developers without having to train or develop their own Machine Learning model. Also, for developers with existing knowledge or data who want to focus on building custom inference models, AWS provides a set of AI platforms that remove some of the heavy lifting associated with deploying and managing AI training and model hosting.

What Amazon AI technology are you most interested in?

My personal favourite Amazon AI technologies right now are Amazon Rekognition and Amazon Lex. Not only are they accessible to developers but there are so many applications and solutions that can be built with image and facial analysis. Not just this, but also speech recognition and natural language understanding (NLU) capabilities. I am also enjoying experimenting with the Amazon Machine Learning service and the MxNet framework running on the Deep Learning AMI. …So my favourite AI technologies can change week to week!


For more, see Exploring Deep Learning: AI in the Cloud: