AT&T open sources Acumos AI via Linux Foundation

American telecommunications mainstay AT&T is working with Indian multinational IT and networking technology firm Tech Mahindra to build an open source Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform named Acumos.

Hosted by The Linux Foundation, the platform is hoped to provide a marketplace for accessing, using and enhancing those applications.

The firm says the industry needs a way to make those apps reusable and accessible to those beyond the company that created them and simplify deployments to lower the barrier to entry.

Platform power

The Acumos platform is an extensible framework for machine learning solutions — it provides the capability to edit, integrate, compose, package, train and deploy AI microservices.

Simply put, it’s an AI marketplace where applications can be chained to create complex and sophisticated AI services.

According to AT&T, “Take someone who wants to create an AI application for video analytics. The Acumos platform gives them a variety of applications to choose from, like location tracking and facial recognition. The platform interface lets you choose AI capabilities and stitch them together automatically so they function as a single application. In this case, the new service could identify where the video was shot based on background landmarks, and identify the speakers in it – design and deploy in a single interface and with minimal additional code development.”

Content curation, autonomous cars, drones, and augmented reality/virtual reality are other areas where AI models could be used with the Acumos platform.

“Our goal with open sourcing the Acumos platform is to make building and deploying AI applications as easy as creating a website,” said Mazin Gilbert, vice president of advanced technology at AT&T Labs. “We’re collaborating with Tech Mahindra to establish an industry standard for AI in the networking space. We invite others to join us to create a global harmonization in AI and set the stage for all future AI network applications and services.”

The Acumos platform is built on open source technologies and can federate across the various AI tools available today, enabling easy access for developers and businesses.

Collaborative model

Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin explains that the organisation has previously used this collaborative model to launch ONAP, the operating system for virtualised networks.

The involved players here are getting the initial framework into open source as quickly as possible so the developer community can accelerate the development of the platform.