Friday, 30 November 2018 12:58

AWS launches new intelligent services

AWS CEO Andy Jassy AWS CEO Andy Jassy

AWS has launched a series of AI services at its AWS re:Invent conference that can be used in applications without requiring developers to have specific machine learning expertise.

Amazon Textract was described as "OCR++" by chief executive Andy Jassy in that it can intelligently extract text and data from virtually any document. For example, it identifies columns and tables, and identifies data items such as addresses and dates of birth from forms, so form designs can change.

Amazon Personalize is a recommendation engine based on the technology used by It takes inputs such as customers' or users' activity streams, inventory (there's little point recommending a product you can't supply) and demographics; builds a recommendation model that's private to the AWS customer; and provides an API for recommendation and personalisation.

Jassy explained that SageMaker can be used to get similar results, but AWS does more of the work if Personalize is used instead.

Amazon Forecast is a service that generates forecasts from time series data. Users provide the historical and "causal" (eg, the weather, or any special offers) data, and Forecast creates, trains and optimises a model that can generate forecasts.

It can be used for a wide variety of forecasting purposes, including retail demand, travel demand, revenue, advertising demand, web traffic, and even AWS use, Jassy said.

Again, it is based on technology used by

According to Jassy, Amazon Forecast is 50% more accurate and one-tenth the cost of other forecasting methods.

Disclosure: The writer attended AWS re:Invent as a guest of the company.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.



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