Amazon Web Services announces Gluon deep learning interface

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 13, 2017

Gluon, a new open source deep learning interface meant to allow developers to more easily and quickly build machine learning models has been announced in a joint statement from Amazon and Microsoft.

It's desribed as an interface that lets developers of varying skill levels use Python and pre-built deep learning templates to simplify the building of models to run neural networks.

Created to allow developers to build and run machine learning models for apps and services, one of its key selling points is that it's created to be used by developers of all abilities.

We created the Gluon interface so building neural networks and training models can be as easy as building an app. However, these engines require developers to define the models and algorithms up-front using lengthy, complex code that is hard to change.

Altogether, the requirements of building a neural network are taxing for even experienced developers and can be prohibitively complicated for beginners. AWS and Microsoft developed Gluon in an effort to remove these barriers.

"At AWS, we've been experimenting with some ideas in MXNet around new, flexible, more approachable ways to define and train neural networks". Machine learning has the ability to transform the way we work, interact and communicate.

According to the two companies, there are four attributes that set Gluon apart from other deep learning tools. Developers can use the Gluon interface to create neural networks on the fly, and to change their size and shape dynamically. Fourth, it provides these benefits without slowing down the training process.

In August, Microsoft and Amazon came to an agreement wherein Cortana users would have access to Alexa and vice-versa.

The partnership will allow people to summon Cortana using Alexa, and vice versa, by the end of the year.

The Gluon project appears to have sprung from that same philosophy.

"We believe it is important for the industry to work together and pool resources to build technology that benefits the broader community", added Eric Boyd, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft AI and Research. "We look forward to our collaboration with Microsoft on continuing to evolve the Gluon interface for developers interested in making machine learning easier to use".

Offering both imperative programming and symbolic programming, it does lack support for Facebook's Caffe2 and Google's TensorFlow, however, because AWS and Microsoft have published Gluon's reference specification, other deep learning engines can be integrated with the interface.

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