New Amazon AI services will bring Alexa’s smarts, and a lot more, to your mobile app

Andy Boxall | December 1, 2016

App Development


Amazon Web Services wants to make it easier and more cost effective for developers to use artificial intelligence in apps. It has announced three new services to achieve this: Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, and Amazon Rekognition, collectively known as Amazon AI.

The services are fully managed, and remove the need to build deep learning algorithms, train up machine learning systems, or to pay out for infrastructure. Instead, developers can focus on building exciting apps that make use of AI technology, without the massive financial and time investment previously needed.

Amazon AI includes some of the same technology used for Alexa and the Amazon Echo

amazon echo alexa

Amazon says:

“Amazon AI services eliminate all of this heavy lifting, making AI broadly accessible to all app developers by offering Amazon’s powerful and proven deep learning algorithms and technologies as fully managed services that any developer can access through an API call or a few clicks in the AWS Management Console. Amazon AI services make the full power of Amazon’s natural language understanding, speech recognition, text-to-speech, and image analysis technologies available at any scale, for any app, on any device, anywhere.”

The three new services are:

  • Amazon Lex: A conversational interface that also powers Amazon Alexa, Lex brings natural language recognition to apps, web apps, and bots.
  • Amazon Polly: A natural sounding speech platform deployed through an SDK or Amazon’s AWS Management Console. It includes 47 voices in 24 languages and in either male or female form.
  • Amazon Rekognition: Makes apps that recognize image content, faces, products, objects,, or scenes.

All Amazon AI services are getting a staggered rollout over the coming months. Developers interesting in getting started should have an AWS account, and visit the Amazon AI page here for more details.

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