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Artificial intelligence platform being launched by cloud firm

28/08/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


It has been revealed that Alibaba, the online business services firm, is to launch a new cloud based artificial intelligence (AI) platform in China. The solution has been built to help with data mining and analysis, and the firm hopes the AI platform will attract more enterprise customers to its client list. Aliyun, the firm’s cloud computing division, also believes that the new DT PAI platform will enable software developers to predict user behaviour like never before, all without needing to write new code.

Speaking about the way in which DT PAI is used, Aliyun explained that it is operated by simply connecting several standardised and pre-built modules together. Specific and targeted parameters are then set before the development of apps, meaning traditional coding is no longer required. Alibaba has used its own primary algorithm to power the AI platform, which utilises deep learning, large-scale machine learning and feature engineering to conduct its work.

Just one month ago it was announced by Alibaba that $1bn (£640m) had been invested in Aliyun as a way to help the business expand into more international markets, such as those in the United States, the Middle East and south-east Asia, in addition to bolstering the Chinese market. The announcement that the e-commerce’s cloud computing arm was moving into the AI field did not, therefore, come as a major surprise.

Aliyun’s senior product expert, Xiao Wei, explained: “Our goal is to create a one-stop AI development, publishing and sharing platform through data calculations and data connections, all with the aim of using AI to drive innovation in all aspects of life.”

Until now the AI domain has only been available to a few extremely qualified developers and specialised tools. Mr Wei said the platform has now been built to handle vast amounts of data, with the company's Open Data Processing Service (ODPS) able to deal with the equivalent of 100 million HD films in just six hours. “What used to take days can be completed within minutes,” he said. This shows how technology is increasingly able to deal with the vast amount of data companies have at their fingertips. By using this information in the right way, great gains can be made.

The news comes as Alibaba’s second quarter earnings report showed signs of being rather lacklustre; however, its internet infrastructure and cloud computing division continues to grow, with quarterly revenue gaining by 106% year-on-year to reach $78m.

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