Microsoft teams up with Amazon again, this time on “Gluon” machine learning tech

Arif Bacchus

Microsoft India

Microsoft and Amazon previously teamed up forming a collaboration between Cortana and Alexa, and today the two are once again joining their best forces. It was just announced that Amazon and Microsoft will be working together on “Gluon,” a new open source deep learning interface.

Gluon was developed together between the two companies, allowing developers to quickly build machine learning models without compromising training performance. Thanks to a jointly developed reference specification, Gluon will also work on any deep learning engine, with support for Apache MXNet available today and support for Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit coming soon. It also is designed for developers of all skill levels, as Microsoft explains:

“With the Gluon interface, developers can build machine learning models using a simple Python API and a range of prebuilt, optimized neural network components. This makes it easier for developers of all skill levels to build neural networks using simple, concise code, without sacrificing performance. AWS and Microsoft published Gluon’s reference specification so other deep learning engines can be integrated with the interface.”

Thanks to Gluon, developers should expect a concise and easy to understand program interface, the ability to quickly prototype and experiment with neural network models, and a training method that has minimal impact on the speed of the underlying engine. This clearly benefits the broader community, as noted by Eric Boyd, corporate vice president of Microsoft AI and Research:

“We believe it is important for the industry to work together and pool resources to build technology that benefits the broader community…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.”

Although Amazon and Microsoft are rivals in the cloud business, it’s great to see the two collaborate on a project which can end up bettering humanity. In-depth technical details are available here, and developers can now get started with Gluon by visiting this web page.