Amazon Takes Its Machine Learning Platform To Europe

Amazon is unveiling its machine learning platform in Europe, as part of a larger data science rollout. The service, which lets companies leverage cloud products from Amazon Web Services (AWS) for data science projects, is the e-commerce giant’s ploy to stay competitive in an increasingly crowded market—one populated by Microsoft’s Azure computing service and IBM’s supercomputer Watson.

Machine learning employs algorithms to make smart guesses about different types of data; in other words, it is exactly what powers self-driving cars, and what Amazon already uses to pull up relevant search recommendations. “Machine-learning software predicts what a customer is likely to do in the next five seconds or in the next five weeks,” Ralf Herbrich, Amazon’s European director of machine learning, told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s pattern recognition at scale.”

The European launch is the first time Amazon has made its machine learning product available to customers outside the U.S., since it debuted this past spring (it is available to both AWS customers and companies that do not use the cloud service).

Microsoft has also been actively seeking customers for its competing program, Azure, by using marketing-friendly tactics such as the woefully inaccurate age-guessing tool it introduced in April. While Facebook doesn’t offer data science services to customers, it did recently open a deep learning lab in France.

[via Wall Street Journal]