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Overtaking Microsoft, Amazon regains the world’s largest market value

Overtaking Microsoft, Amazon regains the world’s largest market value

In the past two days, the world’s No. 1 market capitalization throne has changed hands again, and Amazon has climbed to the top.

This time, with a market value of more than 800 billion US dollars, Amazon has squeezed out Microsoft, Google and Apple, which has been declining all the way, and has become the new overlord of the global technology industry.

Although the e-commerce giant Amazon has always been considered to be out of touch with technology, relying on advanced technologies and products such as AWS, Echo, and Alexa has always been a force that cannot be ignored.

However, compared with technology giants such as Microsoft and Google, Amazon, which is too low-key, can only be described as “making a fortune in silence”, which makes it even more difficult to guess how it made so much money.

In fact, judging from Amazon’s financial report, it was the rapid growth of its Prime membership, AWS, advertising and other businesses that drove its market value soaring.

Not long ago, an article in Wired magazine exposed a little-known story of AI inside Amazon.

In fact, in the history of Amazon’s development, a large number of elements of technological innovation are inextricably linked with AI, which has also helped it seize many opportunities, and it can be said that it has played a key role in the growth of Amazon’s market value.

The originator of cloud computing

AWS (Amazon Web Services) is undoubtedly the originator of cloud computing.

It was hatched from Amazon’s own business and based on the traditional SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) structure, thus creating the cloud computing industry that is now very popular.

It is because of Amazon’s bold attempt that giants such as Microsoft, Google, and Apple, as well as domestic BAT, have shifted their business focus to the cloud, and completely changed the landscape of all enterprise infrastructure.

Today, it is relying on the increasing popularity of cloud computing that has laid a solid foundation for the development of AI.

For AI, cloud computing represents computing and storage, and revitalizing idle resources as much as possible is more conducive to rational and full utilization of resources and reduces enterprise costs.

According to the data, Amazon has been using machine learning technology on AWS to provide users with more automated, smarter services and enhanced experiences.

For example, in 2015 AWS debuted its machine learning service, Amazon Machine Learning.

In 2016, machine learning services Rekognition, Polly and Lex for machine vision and voice interaction were released.

In 2017, Amazon SageMaker was released, providing a mature and easy-to-use machine learning platform, while adding more machine vision, speech recognition and semantic services.

As a result, enterprises or developers do not need to build their own infrastructure to develop and operate machine learning products or services on AWS, thus effectively promoting the development of AI.

Smart entrance

Before Amazon launched the Echo, I believed that few people would think that this humble speaker would become an epoch-making personal intelligent assistant terminal in the future, and then become an intelligent entrance, subverting people’s cognition.

Similar to the situation encountered by AWS, in order to keep up with the pace of Echo, Google, Apple and major domestic manufacturers have successively highlighted their own smart speaker products, spawning a new product system, and launched fierce competition for this.

At the same time, the Amazon Alexa voice platform has gradually penetrated into PCs, headsets, wearable devices, smart home devices and smart cars, becoming a smart application spanning multiple platforms.

In addition, Alexa’s partnership with Microsoft’s Cortana (Cortana), which allows users to chat with Cortana through the Echo, is a major milestone for Amazon.

AI needs data, and data is an indispensable “fuel” for the development of machine learning, deep learning and neural networks.

Smart speakers can be said to be another data entry after PCs, notebooks, smartphones, and tablets, a brand new blue ocean.

Therefore, the birth of Amazon Echo and Alexa has made a pioneering attempt, which can be said to have contributed.

Putting AI in the blood

According to reports, although Amazon does not have a dedicated AI department, it only strengthens its own strength in related fields through the gradual acquisition of some AI entrepreneurial teams.

At the same time, AI experts have spread all over its teams, and they are also equipped with support departments dedicated to the popularization of AI knowledge such as machine learning.

The goal is to put AI in the blood.

At present, AI has also penetrated into Amazon’s major businesses and ecosystems. For example, cutting-edge technologies such as unmanned logistics sorting, drone delivery, and Amazon Go unmanned supermarket are inseparable from AI technologies such as computer vision, deep learning, and image analysis. support.

In order to make up for the last link in the ecosystem, after launching a custom CPU, Amazon launched a machine learning chip called Inferentia last year to further improve the performance of AI.

Amazon has also become another technology giant involved in AI chips after Google and Apple, taking the initiative to compete by reducing costs.

During the 2018 World artificial intelligence Conference held in September last year, the Amazon AWS Artificial Intelligence Research Institute announced its establishment in Shanghai, which will strengthen China’s R&D strength and promote the local implementation of AI products.

AI relies on data, computing power and algorithms. Amazon has the world’s largest cloud computing service, and leads the smart speaker and voice service market. Coupled with the backing of a huge e-commerce empire, it can be said that it has mastered the AI ​​field. solid strength.

However, unlike the two giants of Microsoft and Google, Amazon does not emphasize open source, but focuses on products and services. This comes from its corporate culture and is likely to be the reason why Amazon has always given a low-key impression.

However, when open source and openness have become the general trend of the industry, can Amazon, which is dominated by standardized and standardized products and services, need to continue to lead the way in the field of AI?

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