We all know Artificial Intelligence is the future and the future is now. Companies are adopting AI technology at a fast clip, but the ways in which AI will be implemented in different industries is still being determined. As large companies develop their own AI applications for various aspects of their businesses, companies without the resources to create their own will need to find ways to access AI in order to be competitive in the future. This need will likely spur an “AI as a Service” industry to serve these needs.
Small Canadian start-up Element AI believes it has the answer: It wants to democratize AI by offering “AI-as-a-Service” to businesses that can’t afford to develop the systems themselves…
Currently, AI requires massive quantities of data in order to train the system. Element AI wants to improve on this by reducing the size of the data sets required, which would make the technology accessible to a wider range of businesses, not just those with massive budgets. Element is improving on the AI concept of leveraging. By using a previously trained system and then introducing smaller data sets, the system applies what it learned previously to the new sets of data.
In June, Microsoft, Intel, and NVIDIA invested in Element AI, betting that its “AIaaS approach will grow quickly in the next few years.
Element AI told ZDNet that it will use the funding to hire more employees, to invest in big AI projects and to acquire startups in the space. “Artificial Intelligence is a ‘must have’ capability for global companies,” said CEO Jean-François Gagné in a statement. “Without it, they are competitively impaired if not at grave risk of being obsoleted in place.”
In May, Google revealed a chip and service that give access to a cloud computing AI service.
This new processor is a unique creation designed to both train and execute deep neural networks—machine learning systems behind the rapid evolution of everything from image and speech recognition to automated translation to robotics. Google says it will not sell the chip directly to others. Instead, through its new cloud service, set to arrive sometime before the end of the year, any business or developer can build and operate software via the internet that taps into hundreds and perhaps thousands of these processors, all packed into Google data centers.
Offering new technologies as a service is a great way to democratize the adoption process for companies that may not have the resources to start their own departments and develop the technology for themselves. At the same time, aggregating a lot of the new technology, and in the case of AI, data, will allow the technology to progress even further as firms like Element AI and Google will have access to even more data with which to refine their technologies.
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