"As machine learning becomes vital in helping businesses in all sectors leverage their data, whoever makes it easiest to build the best models stands to gain a lot of business".
XAutoplay: On | OffAmazon and Microsoft said the new platform, called Gluon, will allow developers of all skill levels "to prototype, build, train and deploy sophisticated machine learning models for the cloud, devices at the edge and mobile apps", according to the announcement.
Supporting both traditional imperative programming and symbolic programming - where computational results are represented in a graph - Gluon is essentially an abstraction layer created to work with deep-learning frameworks Apache MXNet and, soon, Microsoft's Cognitive Toolkit.
The tools are supposed to take what is usually an inflexible and unwieldy process and make it more approachable and flexible, similar to what programmers are used to with other forms of coding. Microsoft and Amazon said in a joint press release today that building machine learning models can be very hard, requires a lot of time and processing power. "We created the Gluon interface so building neural networks and training models can be as easy as building an app". The library provides a "concise and easy-to-understand" programming interface that will allow developers to build machine learning models for use on the cloud, smartphones, and more. "AWS and Microsoft published Gluon's reference specification so other deep learning engines can be integrated with the interface".
"For companies, data scientists and developers Gluon offers simplicity without compromise through high-level APIs and pre-build/modular building blocks, and more accessible deep learning", he said in a blog post. Eric Boyd, corporate vice president of Microsoft AI and Research, addressed this in the release, saying it's important for the pair to "pool resources to build technology that benefits the broader community".
This isn't the first time the two tech giants have partnered on AI. This is why Microsoft has collaborated with AWS to create the Gluon interface and enable an open AI ecosystem where developers have freedom of choice.