AWS, Microsoft launch deep learning library

"Developers who are new to machine learning will find this interface more familiar to traditional code, since machine learning models can be defined and manipulated just like any other data structure", said Matt Wood, general manager of AI and deep learning services at AWS, in a blog post today.

"With the Gluon interface, developers can build machine learning models using a simple Python API and a range of prebuilt, optimized neural network components".

Further, they said Gluon code could be used to build deep learning components such as convolutional networks for applications ranging from object detection and speech recognition. It will also work with Apache MXNet and Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK), the release said. "Today's reality is that building and training machine learning models requires a great deal of heavy lifting and specialized expertise".

"Developers can use the Gluon interface to create neural networks on the fly, and to change their size and shape dynamically", the release said. Third, such dynamism means the neural network model and its training algorithm can inform one another during the definition process and the training process.

Cloud services rivals Amazon Web Services and Microsoft are collaborating on a deep learning library created to accelerate development of models used to construct neural networks. Speaking of the cloud, it's interesting that AWS and Microsoft-perhaps the top two players in the IaaS market-have partnered on such an endeavor.

"We believe it is important for the industry to work together and pool resources to build technology that benefits the broader community..." "More seasoned data scientists and researchers will value the ability to build prototypes quickly and utilize dynamic neural network graphs for entirely new model architectures, all without sacrificing training speed".

AWS and Microsoft also published Gluon's reference specification on GitHub to allow other deep learning engines to integrate with the interface. Gluon, which is available as an open source project, will provide a shared set of building blocks that people can use with both Amazon and Microsoft's preferred machine learning frameworks.

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