The Stack Archive News Article

Artificial intelligence to transform cloud market

Mon 16 Oct 2017

Artificial intelligence will have a transformative effect on the cloud market over the next decade, according to the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA).

ACCA Chairman Bernie Trudel gave a speech about the future of cloud markets at the Cloud Expo Asia conference in Singapore. He noted that the market for cloud-based AI is small, accounting for only 1% of the global cloud computing market. However, it is growing quickly, at a rate of 52% year over year and is expected to grow to 10% of the total cloud market by 2025.

The major cloud suppliers do offer some services in cloud-based AI. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers infrastructure tools, API services, and machine learning platforms as add-ons to cloud service offerings. Additionally, Amazon has helped to transform smart home and consumer electronics with advances in AI applied to the Alexa and Echo personal assistant products.

However, although Amazon is “the clear leader in cloud computing,” Trudel said, “it is really playing catch-up from an artificial intelligence perspective.”

Google began using AI in its search function, however, recently the company has focused AI development in two divisions: Google Brain and Deep Mind. To date, the company has applied AI to specific enterprise areas, such as healthcare, and used advances to make Google Cloud more useful to those customers. Microsoft offers the Machine Learning Studio to Azure cloud customers, with capabilities in predictive analytics that can be applied to a variety of enterprises.

Trudel’s predictions for AI driving the cloud are supported by an IBM study from last December that showed that the majority of early adopters believe AI is not only important to future success but that it is necessary to remain competitive over the next few years. The same survey showed that 90% of early adopters say that cloud plays an important role in AI initiatives, with 55% of respondents using SaaS and PaaS to develop and deliver AI solutions at their organizations.

Additionally, an IDC report predicts that the market for AI software platforms will grow at a CAGR of over 39% to over $8 billion by 2021, while another study noted that the future of AI applications require the cloud as foundation, with enterprise ‘cloud first’ strategies which becoming more prevalent over the same time period.

Trudel also noted that as the major providers concern themselves with general AI services, other players including Apple, Baidu, and Alibaba are expected to enter the relatively open cloud-AI market with specific AI applications.

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