Jan 24, 2018 | 3 min read

Leading Companies Partner to Create AI-powered Solutions

Alexander Kulitski , CEO at Smart IT

It might sound odd when you hear that top-tier companies have joined forces with their competitors. If there was no good reasons for this, they would not have probably done it, right?

Recently, one of the portals that take a close-up look at the technologies disrupting our lives, published two articles. One of them about the strategic partnership of Facebook and tech giant Intel, and the other relating to Microsoft and e-commerce giant Amazon teaming up to benefit developers.

What is Intel Nervana?

Along with a few more partners, Navin Rao, the author at Nervana Systems (subsidiary of Intel since 2016) began his project in 2014.

The idea behind the venture was to create a SaaS platform that would give companies the opportunity to create custom-tailored deep learning solutions. This San Diego based company got MUSD24.4 in funding (series A).

These days, Nervana is working on a Neural Network chip called Nervana with Facebook as well as several other companies. The processor is aimed at fostering an AI learning process to enhance the learning capabilities of machines, taking deep learning to a whole new level. Involving tons of complex computations, the amount of processing capacity used by computers is insane. Nervana is believed to be easing up the educational phase of the learning process by taking shortcuts. Such a breakthrough is likely to result in improved performance of AI models.


Open-source Gluon: Deep-learning Library

Gluon is the fruit of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft duo. This hand-in-hand cooperation is meant to improve research on cloud services as well as bring AI development tools to developers’ finger tips.

Founded in 2006, AWS offers IT infrastructure to businesses. Throughout its history, the company had several acquisitions: AppThwack, offering automations toolkit; Italian NICE that dealt in a broad range of cloud and grid solutions; as well as Canadian ThinkBox specializing in pipeline technology and creative tools; and Do, a comprehensive meetings management engine in 2017.

Neural network models and training algorithms are the essentials of any deep learning ecosystem. After Gluon came to light, software engineers have had a chance to work on and deploy machine learning models even if this technology is not their core expertise. In late summer, Amazon and Microsoft sealed the deal, meaning end users of Microsoft’s intelligent VA Cortana would be able to access its analogue of Amazon’s Alexa, and vice versa. This is the second time that market leaders have united. Earlier, the two jointly worked on other AI-related projects.

Without a crystal ball, it is very unlikely we can predict who the next tech giants to make headlines with AI will be, but the obvious thing is that even titans are ready to swallow their pride and team up to explore the potential of machine learning to benefit the broader audience.


Historical Remark

?Just a reminder that Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook are already the members of Partnership on AI, short for Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society. The organization formed in September of 2016 to educate the masses about Artificial intelligence and create industry standards. Apart from the above-mentioned market players, IBM and Google are also among the founding partners of Partnership on AI. Who knows, what other companies may join the partnership circle and to further the cause.

24 January 2018


Alexander Kulitski, CEO at Smart IT

Alex is Founder and CEO of Smart IT and is the co-founder and executive CTO at MEDvidi. Being a serial entrepreneur, he is a keen investor in technology startups and runs several successful side projects besides Smart IT and MEDvidi. [email protected]