AWS Startups Blog

Category: Artificial Intelligence

What Is Deep Learning? A Primer with Bonsai’s Mark Hammond

Over the past few years, the tech conversation has been dominated by references to AI and deep learning. Some people liken it to websites in 1995—everybody knew they needed one, but they didn’t all know what they were. Today, there are a lot of people talking about AI without having a real grasp on how deep learning works or even what it means. So what is it, really?

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Aaron Ames on Walking Robots

Tell a Robot to Take a Hike, and It Might Listen: “Cassie” Takes on the Pacific Crest Trail

For most adventurers, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail would be a crowning achievement in its own right. But one Caltech professor is upping the ante: he wants to design a robot that can complete the famous trek, all with outside assistance. That’s why Dr. Aaron Ames and his team have created Cassie, the world’s first fully autonomous robot designed to navigate the harshest and most complex environments in the world.

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Terry Sejnowski on AI

The AI revolution isn’t coming, says Terry Sejnowski. It’s already here.

By now, you have certainly taken part in the deep learning revolution, whether you’re aware of it or not. If you use a voice-based personal assistant like Alexa, chances are advances in AI have already made it into their backend for companies to yield savings from processing efficiency. But sooner or later, deep learning is going to change your life. That, at least, is what Dr. Terry Sejnowski, the Francis Crick professor at the Salk Institute and a pioneer in deep learning, believes. “What we’re creating is a whole new world,” he argues.

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The Smallpdf team at their offices in Zurich, Switzerland.

How to run a world-class website with a DevOps team of two

At last count, Smallpdf, the PDF conversion startup I work for, had roughly 13 million monthly users. As for the number of employees currently running our website? That would be 10—with only two employees focused on the backend and infrastructure. You might be curious to learn how we run such a processing intensive website with such a small DevOps team. Our little secret stands in automation and delegation.

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The Robocar Rally track at AWS re:Invent 2017.

Baby, You Can Drive Your Own Car: A Look at How Deep Learning Powered AWS’s Robocar Rally

What’s more fun than an all-night hackathon in Vegas? Why, a Vegas hackathon involving self-driving cars, of course. During AWS’s 2017 re:Invent conference, 25 teams were given kits to build an autonomous car that could learn how to drive around a track on its own. In this video, we explain what deep learning has to do with autonomous driving and how even a light-hearted Robocar Rally can have deeper implications for learning and the cloud.

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A screenshot of the Visipedia Bird app.

Caltech’s Pietro Perona on how deep learning can help you classify birds and trees

Imagine, for a moment, that you discover an irregular mole on yourself. Whereas nowadays you still need to take time to schedule a dermatological appointment and then wait weeks to get your test results, Caltech Professor Pietro Perona is eagerly awaiting the day when you can snap a picture of the mole with your smartphone and then learn instantaneously if it’s dangerous or not. And he should know. As the co-creator, with Cornell Tech Professor Serge Belongie, of the AI and machine learning-based visual classification system Visipedia, Perona has spent the past seven years working on a “switchboard” that lets anyone, everywhere ask questions and immediately obtain an answer.

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AWS Global Evangelist Mackenzie Kosut interviews the founders of Cloud Conformity

Startups on Air: re:Invent Rendezvous

AWS’s annual re:Invent conference may not traditionally be known for its startup scene, but at this year’s iteration, Global Startup Evangelist Mackenzie Kosut took advantage of the massive event to chat with five hot startups for his Startups on Air video series.

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João Menano on Expanding Credit Opportunities with AI

James CEO João Menano on expanding credit opportunities with AI

Assigning credit risk to people who apply for business loans, credit cards, and home mortgages has mostly been done by weighing some 10 or 20 attributes. Take those attributes—and we’re all familiar with some of the things that make our credit scores rise and fall, including timeliness of payments, debt to income ratio, and defaults—and crank them through your favorite logistic regression model or scorecard. The result is your assigned credit risk, and depending on the number, you either get your loan or you don’t.

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Antoine Blondeau from Sentient

Sentient Technologies Chairman Antoine Blondeau on the evolution of AI

When Antoine Blondeau, the co-founder and chairman of Sentient Technologies, first began working with artificial intelligence, the concept was still known as “algorithmic science.” In the decades since, AI has evolved into a much sexier topic because, according to Blondeau, when operating on mission speed and plugged into the right workflow, AI will learn quicker and faster than humans—resulting in business models that can evolve at machine speed. “That is the revolution,” notes Blondeau.

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