AI for the rest of us
Have you heard about the low-code/no-code movements? They aim to bring software engineering to the masses, so (theoretically) anyone could use drag-and-drop tools to automate tasks or create new applications. That's a noble objective and I'm convinced it will eventually become a reality. After all, that was part of the original vision for Microsoft's Visual Basic way back when.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence require even more advanced skills than those needed to develop a basic application; data scientists and architects factor into the equation and not every organization has the luxury of hiring those roles as FTEs. So how can your typical organization dip its toe in the AI/ML water?
Amazon provides one option and it's called SageMaker Canvas. It's a no-code option aimed at business analysts and, with Amazon's backing, it's worth keeping an eye on. In fact, since they offer a free tier it's probably worth testing out with sample data.
Amazon isn't the only game in town offering this approach but given how many organizations are already using their AWS platform SageMaker Canvas has a huge potential customer base that's already within easy reach. And given how important AWS is to the overall success of Amazon, you can bet they'll likely put a lot of muscle behind SageMaker Canvas in the coming years. Think of AWS as the B2B hub off which there are countless spokes to keep businesses engaged, similar to the central hub (and spokes) Amazon Prime offers in the B2C world.
Regardless of who wins and loses this battle we should all applaud the efforts to make AI and ML more approachable.
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