Amazon CTO: Why the time is now for machine learning

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The CTO of Amazon has heaped praise upon machine learning and other new technology that is helping businesses reach previously unheard-of highs.

Speaking at yesterday’s AWS Summit event in London, Werner Vogels highlighted how advanced data tools and services can be the key to helping a business stand out from the crowd.

Vogels told the audience that, “IT is becoming an important differentiator” in what is a hyper-competitive technological space today, with analytics tools in particular marked as being a crucial consideration.

“When you think about the impact that cloud has had on our IT world, every business now today has access to exactly the same IT capabilities - cloud has brought an egalitarian approach to IT,”” he said.

"Every company, large or small, has access to the same servers, the same database and storage, mobile services, and analytics tools, and if you can't develop the algorithms yourselves, you can buy them...so what is the differentiator?

“It is all about data - the data that you have as a company, the way that you use it to engage your customers, to build better business processes, to develop new products, is really going to be the way that companies are going to compete."

Vogels also revealed what he called the “AWS Machine Learning Vision” - which involves getting machine learning tools into the hands of every developer and data scientist.

“Every developer should be able to integrate machine learning into all their applications,” Vogels declared.

AWS has a huge range of tools available to such workers, ranging from the likes of video recognition, algorithm databases, speech and hearing APIs, and much, much more.

Amazon helped popularise machine learning tools many years ago through the recommendation engine on its online marketplace, a model which Vogels noted is now being copied to great success by the likes of Netflix, and many other companies around the world.

“If you look at the Q1 financial reporting by companies, machine learning is probably mentioned in every financial quarterly report when a company says that is what they are going to focus on to actually engage their customers better than before.”

“But in the real world of machine learning, there’s so many things happening, this is moving so fast, that probably in two or three years...it will probably look radically different, with many more stories to tell about how it affects our daily lives.”

“There’s never been a better time to get machine learning into your business.”