Earlier this year, Amazon announced plans to implement additional artificial intelligence (AI) solutions into Amazon Web Services, the company's cloud computing unit. Back then, the Seattle-based tech giant explained that it's looking to offer as many cloud-based AI applications as possible to not fall behind competitors like Google and Microsoft who have been doing the same. About a month later, the company recruited Alex Smola, a top machine learning expert from the Carnegie Mellon University who recently relocated to San Francisco where he started working at Amazon's new AI lab. As the Seattle-based retail giant put it, Smola was hired specifically to help the company improve its cloud computing business.
And that brings us to today. As it turns, Amazon just announced three new AI tools for Amazon Web Services. All three new offerings are based on the technology utilized by the Alexa digital assistant. They've been designed for AWS developers looking to create software which can be controlled via conversational user interfaces, i.e. which supports voice control. Apart from text-to-speech algorithms, these new tools feature Amazon's latest computer vision technology which can recognize various objects, scenes, and people's faces.
More specifically, the new products debuted by the Seattle-based company are called Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, and Amazon Rekognition. Lex is a tool for building conversational user interfaces, powered by the same recognition technology utilized by Alexa. Simply speaking, Lex can be used to develop chatbots powered by Amazon's AI technology. However, solutions created with Lex can't speak on their own. For that, they need Polly, a tool infused with Amazon's text-to-speech service which sounds much more natural than an average text-to-speech solution. The retail giant claims Polly can speak 23 languages in 47 voices, which means this is one of the most advanced text-to-speech developer tools ever created. Last but not least, there's the curiously named Amazon Rekognition. Rekognition is Amazon's solution for enabling computer vision in apps. The company claims this technology can recognize people's facial expressions and use them to deduce how they are feeling. In addition to that, it can identify various objects and scenes. Given how it's capable of deep learning, Rekognition also gets better at recognizing things over time. All three tools began rolling out today in some regions, though Lex is still in the technical preview phase of development. App developers who want to learn more can refer to Amazon's press release available via the source link below.