Microsoft and Amazon Web Services recently teamed up to launch Gluon, an open-source deep learning library to make machine learning more accessible to developers of all skill levels. The new interface will enable developers to prototype, build, train and install advanced machine learning models for mobile apps, the cloud, and devices at the edge.
Gluon gives an easy to understand programming interface to let the developers quickly prototype and experiment with neural network models along with a training method, that impacts the underlying system on a minimal level. It is a concise interface that can be integrated with other deep learning engines. With it, machine learning models can be built using Python API and a range of pre-built, neural network components.
“The potential of machine learning can only be realized if it is accessible to all developers. Today’s reality is that building and training machine learning models require a great deal of heavy lifting and specialized expertise,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, VP of Amazon AI. “We created the Gluon interface so building neural networks and training models can be as easy as building an app. 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.”
With Gluon, the developers can even create neural networks on the go, and can resize or reshape them dynamically. Neural networks are built using training data, a model, and an algorithm. And since Gluon integrates the training algorithm and neural network model, it helps developers perform model training one step at a time, which further makes neural networks easier to debug, update and reuse.
“We believe it is important for the industry to work together and pool resources to build technology that benefits the broader community,” said Eric Boyd, corporate vice president of Microsoft AI and Research. “This is why Microsoft has collaborated with AWS to create the Gluon interface and enable an open AI ecosystem where developers have freedom of choice. Machine learning has the ability to transform the way we work, interact and communicate. To make this happen we need to put the right tools in the right hands, and the Gluon interface is a step in this direction.”
It’s not the first time that Amazon and Microsoft have joined hands on artificial intelligence. The companies had collaborated on their respective digital personal assistants– Alexa and Cortana, in August this year.
The Gluon interface is currently available in Apache MXNet 0.11, and will support Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK) in an upcoming release.