Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently introduced a new program that aims to promote machine learning research using Amazon’s cloud. The Machine Learning Research Awards will reportedly grant one-time unrestricted awards to academic institutions.
Amazon is truly taking a step toward helping the machine learning research field that has amazing potential to influence how we interact with technology on a daily basis. It also helps AWS compete for mindshare among researchers since many technology giants are becoming involved in research for AI exploration. Artificial intelligence has become a hot topic within the past few years, and this program will be one of the pioneer programs that promote further research.
Research programs are typically the first step in the advancement of a particular study or area of concentration. With AWS’ new program, it will be interesting to see how funds are used. Amazon wants to be involved in research, but how are they going to benefit from this new initiative?
Some of the most successful companies that focus on AI development have come out of academic labs. Amazon has an immense amount of potential to become the primary outlet for a cloud platform for companies that are aiming to make an impact in the field. For instance, Google recently revealed its TensorFlow Research Cloud, which VentureBeat asserts is “designed to provide academics with a pool of dedicated AI hardware to accelerate their research.”
Individual cloud providers offer their own services for machine learning, and Amazon’s research funds could help them bring more individuals to the cloud platform. Essentially, this is a perfect way for Amazon to invest in future endeavors within AI. They’re planting a seed that is expected to grow into something massive and influential. Some of the institutions that have partnered with AWS include: Carnegie Mellon University, the California Institute of Technology, Harvard Medical School, the University of Washington, and the University of California, Berkeley.
AWS’s announcement comes after the Invent conference in Las Vegas, and besides their new program, Amazon has also announced the introduction of new tools that are designed to help with the creation of virtual reality experiences and new services that assist companies in broadcasting video over the internet.