AWS CEO Andy Jassy at the reInvent con 2016.
AWS CEO Andy Jassy at the reInvent con 2016. Image: YouTube/TheUSBPort..

On Wednesday, the Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO Andy Jassy delivered a lengthy keynote at the company’s re:Invent annual conference in Las Vegas. The executive unveiled new products coming to Amazon’s cloud computing ecosystem, including AI and hybrid services.

The announcement by AWS comes in the second day of the 2016 edition of the re:Invent cloud conference.

The dedicated event lasts a week and this year it is taking place at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

AWS’s re:Invent conference will run until Friday, December 2, although the event formally ends the day before. Amazon.com CTO will present a similar keynote on Thursday, and more big announcements are expected.

AWS unleashes its AI power into Lex, Polly, and Rekognition

Amazon Lex brings forward the same deep learning technology that powers the Alexa voice assistant to application builders looking to develop their own voice-enabled projects.

The service relies on automatic speech recognition (ASR) and natural language understanding (NLU) functionalities. The first year of Amazon Lex is free of charge, and pricing varies depending on the text and speech requests users input into the system.

Next in line is Amazon Polly. Polly is a new text-to-speech service that also relies on Amazon’s artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.

The way in which it works is as simple as it sounds: Users input text characters and Amazon Polly generates an audio track with an artificial voice speaking the words.

The service turns text intro “lifelike speech” in 24 languages and 47 different voices. Users only pay for the amount of characters submitted for text-to-speech translation, and tracks come out in friendly formats like mp3.

Last but not least in the AI front, AWS presented Rekognition, an attribute detection service for images and pictures. Rekognition features not only facial recognition functionalities but also analysis and classification of scene elements.

Amazon Rekognition’s API further relies on deep learning to categorize pictures under hundreds of different labels. It also supports integration with AWS cloud services or third-party products.

As with other AI unveilings at re:Invent 2016, Amazon Rekognition is open to developers for a fee according to their needs. Customers only pay for what they do with it.

AWS brings data and IoT solutions with Lightsail, Snowmobile, and Greengrass

Lightsail is the first service unveiled on the cloud computing front per se by Amazon Web Services.

Lightsail’s primary service consists of hosting within the AWS cloud at competitive prices. Five server sizes are available for as little as $5 per month, and the plans include access to several native features of AWS as well as storage, management, and others.

Looking at the dawn of the Internet of Things era, Amazon developed Greengrass for premium communications and connectivity solutions among smart devices.

AWS Greengrass is a piece of software based on Amazon’s Lambda app infrastructure, which can also run the functions users code within it. Greengrass, however, is dedicated to making IoT devices work seamlessly through enhanced actions and responses.

IoT devices running Greengrass programs respond quickly and transfer data faster than others, while they continue to perform their primary functions even while offline.

Finally, Amazon devised a basic yet effective solution to mass data transfer needs in AWS Snowmobile. This service is, quite literally, a truck to load information, move it, and upload it securely to the AWS cloud in record time.

AWS Snowmobile responds to the sudden urge for huge companies to safely transfer and store their data on Amazon’s servers. One of Amazon’s new big rigs can store up to 100 Petabytes (that is 100,000 Terabytes, in case you were wondering).

While transferring such massive amounts of data over current cloud connections could take over 20 years, a couple of AWS Snowmobiles could safely store all that information in just a few months.

All of the new AWS services are readily available from Amazon as limited previews or full-fledged platforms as of today.

Source: Amazon

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