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Amazon’s image recognition AI can identify your dog down to its breed

Amazon’s image recognition AI can identify your dog down to its breed


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We’ve all had a lot of fun playing around with image recognition machine learning AIs from the likes of Google and Microsoft. Today, Amazon’s getting in the game with the launch of its own tool, Amazon Rekognition, which aims to provide deep-learning services to developers.

While the tool isn’t public-facing like Google’s drawing game or Microsoft’s age-guessing bot, Amazon Rekognition does appear to do much of the same: it can look at photos and recognize human faces, identify their emotions, and label objects. In a sample photo of a dog, the AI identified it as “animal,” “pet,” and even specifically labels it as a “Golden Retriever.”

The API will be available to all AWS users, even those on the free tier. Developers can use it to add facial recognition as a layer of security to their app, sort through large collection of photos to tag and index them, or “build ‘smart’ marketing billboards that collect demographic data about viewers.” Hey, Amazon’s idea, not mine.

Rekognition is free to use today in limited regions: Northern Virginia, Oregon, and Ireland. The company also released a few other machine learning AIs alongside Rekognition: Amazon Polly, which converts text to speech, and Amazon Lex, a tool used to build conversational chatbots (Lex currently powers Alexa, the assistant within the Echo).

Today’s announcement comes just two weeks after Google made its own big AI push for its cloud services, offering tools that can detect sentiment in multiple languages and a Jobs API that can help companies match job vacancies with potential hire. As companies begin offering more of the same machine learning tools, it may come down to just preference over which cloud service you like building off from than which AI is the smartest.