Amazon Among First With AI for its Cloud Service
With the cloud computing wars heating up, Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), the leader in the marketplace with its Amazon Web Services (AWS), can put another feather in its cap since it is among the first to add artificial intelligence to its cloud offering.
Launched earlier this month, Amazon Macie uses machine learning to pinpoint risks, classify the level of threat and protect the data stored on the AWS cloud. According to a report in Forbes, Amazon is first with this type of technology, giving it an edge among its rivals which are increasingly closing in on AWS. The aim of Amazon Macie is to discover and report data stored on the cloud that isn’t secured. In addition to spotting it, the service analyzes the usage and access patterns to give customers real-time alerts about the safety of sensitive information. Macie also sorts the data into risk levels and begins automatically monitoring the data that falls into the high-risk bucket.
AI: Here to Stay
According to Forbes, Amazon is relying on technology it acquired when it purchased Harvest.ai, a security startup it spent $20 million on earlier in 2017. The startup’s Macie Analytics product analyzes and stops the leak of data in enterprises that is now integrated into AWS.
The move on the part of the e-commerce giant to beef up the technology offering of its cloud unit comes at a time when rivals are closing in. While AWS has long been the dominate cloud computing provider, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT and Alibaba Group (BABA) of China are making strides in the marketplace. When Alibaba reported quarterly earnings last week, it said revenue from Alicloud, its cloud business, jumped 96% to $359 million and that it surpassed 1 million paying customers for the first time ever.
It’s also amid a backdrop in which Amazon is trying to position itself as the leader in AI, particularly in the cloud. During a recent interview with Barron’s, Matt Wood, general manager for deep learning and AI at AWS, said the company’s cloud service has more machine learning running on its platform than any other company. According to some estimates, the market for AI products and services is expected to reach almost $60 billion worldwide by 2025. An Accenture report said that three channels—intelligent automation, labor and capital augmentation, and a diffusion of innovation into other industries such as driverless vehicles—are responsible for the growth of AI.