AI, Serverless Computing to Dominate the Highlights of AWS re:Invent

AWS marquee conference re:Invent will be running this week in Las Vegas. As always, Amazon is likely to not disappoint with exciting new releases. Without driving too much speculation, initial signs pint that technology trends such as artificial intelligence(AI) and serverless computing will be at center stage at re:Invent.

Playing Catch Up on the Cloud AI Platform Space

AWS remains the undisputed leader in the cloud platform space with a market share bigger than the rest of the relevant players combined. However, when comes to artificial intelligence(AI) and machine learning(ML), AWS still trails platforms such as Azure, Bluemix or Google Cloud.

Is not that AWS hasn’t invested heavily on AI and ML technologies but the quality and dominance hasn’t been to the levels of other platform areas. A couple of years ago, AWS announced the release of the AWS ML platform which enables the implementation of custom ML applications. Similarly, AWS released the Alexa Skills Kit which powers AI-driven devices such as Amazon Echo or Dash. Despite this level of activity in the AI-ML fields, Amazon’s competitors such as Microsoft, IBM and Google have out-innovated AWS which continuous released in areas such as cognitive cloud services, cloud ML platforms, deep learning frameworks, vertical AI solutions and even AI-driven hardware.

At re:Invent, Amazon is rumored to make the machine learning technology that powers Alexa available to developers. That type of release could provide AWS developers with sophisticated voice-AI capabilities similar to those included in cognitive platforms such as Watson Developer Cloud, Microsoft Cognitive Services or Google Natural Language Processing(NLP) APIs.

In addition to the release of the Alexa ML stack, there are other AI-related areas that could help to improve AWS’ position in the market. EC2 could add GPU-optimized instances which are essential to run large scale AI and deep learning applications. Microsoft recently added similar capabilities to its Azure platform. Also, complementing Alexa’s ML stack with other cognitive services in areas such as image analysis, NLP, or knowledge analysis could also be a key and simple addition to the AWS platform.

More Serverless Magic

AWS Lambda remains the most popular serverless platform in the market and Amazon keeps adding more capabilities to its marquee service. Recently, AWS introduced the Serverless Application Mode also known as Project Flourish which enables the implementation of really sophisticated event-driven applications.

There are many interesting ideas that could be included in the next version of the AWS Serverless Application Model. For starters, we should expect to see more robust integration of serverless capabilities and the anew AI-ML services. Also, enhanced serverless computing features can benefit other AWS services such as AWS IOT which relies heavily on serverless architecture models.

In addition to AI and serverless computing, there are other areas that could help to make AWS re:Invent a very exciting show. Bots, VR, drones are some of the trends that might drive new capabilities of the AWS platform in its quest to continue dominating the cloud platform space.

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, I write The Sequence Newsletter, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

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