Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the three major cloud computing providers and the most popular worldwide, with a 33 percent market share in 2022, according to the Synergy Research Group. It was the first of the three to establish itself and, as such, has been ahead of all competition since the early 2010s.
Amazon Web Services: AI and ML History
AWS launched in 2002 after two years of testing a service-orientated architecture which was originally assumed to be just for the growth of Amazon.com. After more developer interest than expected following the 2002 announcement, Amazon focused more resources into growing AWS, with databases, storage, and compute infrastructure services added in the fall of 2003. Amazon’s CEO Andy Jassy took over control of AWS at that time and had a vision of it as the “Internet OS.”
Amazon would continue to add more to AWS, but the focus was very much on compute and storage in the 2000s. The growth and market share dominance that AWS had were not well known at the time, as Amazon did not disclose how much money AWS was generating for the company. It wouldn’t be until 2015 that we got the full picture of how much AWS was ahead in terms of revenue, customers, and infrastructure investment.
In the early 2010s, AWS started to be more than a storage and compute provider, with thousands of services launched, tailored to the needs of a particular program or industry. It also launched its partner network in 2014, which enables third-party software developers to connect to AWS and distribute their software on the AWS marketplace. Almost all notable AI, ML, and analytics software services for cloud computing have the option to connect through AWS. On top of that, Amazon has launched its own services for AI and ML needs, with hundreds of instances for a wide range of needs.
See also: AWS: A Quick Primer
AWS: AI and ML Offerings
AWS has an abundance of AI and ML offerings and adds more to the platform every month, alongside accepting new partner solutions. Here are some of the highlights:
- Amazon SageMaker – Amazon’s catch-all machine learning tool, SageMaker, has dozens of services that connect through a business’s entire machine learning journey.
- Amazon Augmented AI – For businesses that want to employ a part human, part machine learning workflow, Augmented AI provides the interface to allow both parties to collaborate.
- Amazon CodeGuru – Implement a machine learning algorithm that can provide intelligent recommendations on code quality and identify cost reductions through analysis of the code.
- Amazon Comprehend – Find valuable insights inside text documents, such as customer support tickets and product reviews, and in healthcare through the scanning of health documents, providing doctors with more time to see patients.
- Amazon DevOps Guru – Detect abnormal operational behavior before it causes harm while also providing insights to adapt to changing customer preferences.
- Amazon Fraud Detector – Manage fraud detection with a machine learning algorithm without the need for specialist AI or ML knowledge.
- Amazon Kendra – An intelligent search engine that can find data on websites and applications even when located across multiple locations and depositories.
- Amazon Lex – Amazon’s chatbot solution with conversational AI programming, allowing businesses to have a 24/7 customer support solution.
- Amazon Monitron – An equipment monitoring solution that can reduce unplanned equipment downtime and detect issues before they become costly.
- Amazon Polly – A text-to-speech service that uses deep learning to enable natural-sounding human speech in a variety of languages
- Amazon Transcribe – Similar to Polly, but speech-to-text, using the same algorithms that power Amazon’s Alexa service.
- Amazon Rekognition – Analyze millions of images, videos, and other streaming data and add definitions and other tags to quickly sort them.
- Amazon Textract – Extract text from any document, including handwritten notes and other difficult-to-transcribe documents. Using machine learning, the algorithm can make educated guesses through contextual analysis.
- Amazon Translate – Automatically translate language from audio and video fed through the service. Currently works with 14 languages, 16 industry sectors, and eight content types.
- AWS Panorama – Enable computer vision at the edge of the network with Panorama, which can integrate with the local area network.