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Amazon Rekognition goes live in AWS Sydney region

The cloud-based AI service from Amazon Web Services has already drawn a diverse set of Australian businesses, paving the way for greater adoption of AI in Australia

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has rolled out its Rekognition artificial intelligence (AI) service for its Sydney Region, giving Australian developers access to visual analysis and facial recognition capabilities.

Cloud-based AI services such as Rekognition are pre-trained, freeing developers from the need to develop deep learning algorithms and machine learning models to power applications that interact with users and the world around them.

For example, the service, resulting from more than 20 years of investment in artificial intelligence at Amazon, can locate faces in images and detect attributes, such as whether or not someone is smiling, or if his or her eyes are open.

Using application programming interfaces (APIs), developers can build applications that measure the likelihood that faces in two images are of the same person to verify a user against a reference photo in almost real-time.

Australian AWS customers that are already using Rekognition include crowdsourcing platform Airtasker, property portal Domain and influencer marketing agency Social Soup.

Sharyn Smith, founder and CEO of Social Soup, said Rekognition has enabled her agency to provide businesses with real-time customer behavioural analysis, as well as match marketing campaigns to customers more efficiently.

“The availability of Amazon Rekognition in the AWS Sydney Region will enhance Social Soup’s ability to deliver more sophisticated campaign marketing solutions to our customers faster, and at scale,” she said.

Paul Migliorini, AWS’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, said since the launch of the AWS Sydney Region over five years ago, Australian customers have provided feedback that has helped AWS develop new features and service updates.

“These have included innovation in security, compute, analytics, serverless computing, and the internet of things. More recently, Australian customers are using AWS machine learning and AI services to further accelerate innovation and competitive advantage,” he added.

Read more about AI in Australia

  • Australia is being transformed by artificial intelligence and digitisation, particularly in areas such as education and public safety.
  • Over half of Australian organisations with more than 20 employees are exploring the use of AI despite an “undercurrent of fear” about the technology.
  • Data61 CEO Adrian Turner says Australia needs to reskill workers rather than implement a robot tax.
  • Pizza chain Domino’s is using a chatbot to take food ordersin Australia, enabling workers to focus on what they do best.

Industry experts have predicted that cloud-based AI and machine learning services such as Rekognition will be the killer applications that will drive cloud computing forward.

Bernie Trudel, chairman of the Asia Cloud Computing Association, said while AI only accounts for 1% of the global cloud services market today, its share of the overall IT market is growing at 52%.

“We’re starting to see AI having a significant impact on cloud computing,” he said. “If you extrapolate what the analysts are saying, there’s faster growth in AI, with 10% of cloud revenue expected to come from AI by 2025.”

Besides AWS, other cloud service providers such as Microsoft, Google and IBM are also offering AI capabilities. ... ... ... ... ... ... .... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

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