ArtificiaI intelligence, APIs and the transformation of computer science

These are exciting times in the world of artificial intelligence as advanced capabilities escape the labs and become central to mainstream products — think Amazon Echo — and increasingly accessible to everyday software developers. Recently, we’ve seen a run of large companies open-sourcing their A.I. platform APIs. Google has open-sourced TensorFlow, its machine learning library. Not to be outdone, Amazon has released its TensorFlow competitor DSSTNE (or Deep Scalable Sparse Tensor Network) and Facebook has done the same with fastText, its machine learning engine for text classification and language recognition. Those big-company A.I. platforms join — and in some sense compete with — notable open source deep learning libraries like Caffe, Theano and Torch. In many ways, open sourcing access to A.I. represents the culmination of the “API economy,” where software…


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