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7 Things to Know About AWS ML: Swami Sivasubramanian

‘Advancements in machine learning, fueled by scientific research, abundance of compute resources and access to data, has … meant that machine learning is going mainstream,’ says Sivasubramanian, vice president of artificial intelligence and machine learning at Amazon Web Services. ‘We see this in our customers’ adoption of the machine learning technology.’

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An ML Prerequisite And A Hurdle

Training data is a prerequisite to all ML, and there’s a need to learn with less of it, according to Sivasubramanian. While humans are incredibly good at learning from a few data samples, ML still requires a lot of data.

“A few years ago, when my daughter was 2, she could easily learn the difference between an apple and an orange with just a few examples,” Sivasubramanian said. ”On the other hand, a machine learning model might have needed hundreds of labeled pieces of data to reliably identify between an apple and an orange.”

The process of data labeling is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, and as more and more companies want to use ML, accessing vast troves of data and annotating it is too tedious and expensive to scale, he said.

The National Football League, for example, wanted to use computer vision to more easily and quickly search through thousands of media assets, but the manpower to tag all the assets at scale was time- and cost-prohibitive, according to Sivasubramanian. Computer vision allows machines to identify people, places and things in images with accuracy at or above human levels with greater speed.

Swedish company Dafgards, a family-owned frozen foods business, wanted to use more intelligent quality control in its pizza making. The company partnered with AWS to build an automated ML system to do visual quality inspection, because its 12-member IT team had limited ML expertise.

“To solve this problem for our customers, our team of scientists are investing in a technique called few-shot learning, and they wanted to bring few-shot learning to our services,” Sivasubramanian said.

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