Taryn Southern recently became the [first musician to release an album created with AI](https://twitter.com/verge/status/901836760417800193). She used an open-source AI platform called Amper Music that creates music based on the instruments and beats per minute she requests. Amper then produces the music to go along with Southern’s vocals.

Every day more people are finding ways to take AI and apply it to their lives and work. If your business is looking to use AI, open-source tools are a useful way to start. Amazon has been working in the AI field for more than 20 years, leveraging their efforts to improve their supply chain, forecasting, and capacity planning. Through Amazon’s web services (AWS) AI, they offer several open-source tools that can launch your AI efforts. Here are four you can apply to many business needs:

1. Lex – Lex is the power behind Amazon’s Alexa. As they describe it, “Amazon Lex provides the advanced deep learning functionalities of automatic speech recognition (ASR) for converting speech to text, and natural language understanding (NLU) to recognize the intent of the text, to enable you to build applications with highly engaging user experiences and lifelike conversational interactions.” In other words, the machines can understand what people are saying when they speak, as Alexa does, and then take action based on those statements.

Lex is a useful tool for businesses seeking chatbots for customer service. While robot applications are available now to handle the initial stage of customer calls, those not powered by AI are limited to canned responses and will later refer customers to a human. Think about the robotic-sounding phone tree you’ve encountered when calling a business for help.

Lex can not only respond and sound like a human but will learn over time from the data gathered during each phone call. Companies such as Disney and Google similar systems that are so lifelike, you may not realize you’re not speaking to a human. Using Lex, more companies are creating services around customer service and support. Further, the responses can be generated in either text (via a website online chat service) or voice (for phone trees). Lex can handle multi-turn conversations and track metrics. It will also keep track of so-called missed utterances — phrases and words it didn’t understand — and it will improve over time.

During an Imaginovation brainstorm session, we tossed around some ideas for amazon ai services starting with Lex. Here are just a few:

● Presales – Lex can make recommendations to a customer who calls to learn more about your product or service and get things started, then transfer to a person.

● Cold calling – Help your sales team out by building a system to make cold calls.

● Ordering pizza – This one is just for fun, but hey, 3 billion pizzas are sold each year in the U.S.

● Reservations – Hotels, dinner, and more.

● Alerting teams to change – Lex can coordinate with Slack, Facebook, Twilio, and text messaging systems.

2. Amazon Polly turns text into lifelike speech. You give it words, and it will read them out loud. For years, people who are blind have relied on a program called JAWS (Job Access with Speech) to read computer text out loud. Text-to-speech (TTS) has also been around for awhile. Polly will improve on such services by offering a human-sounding voice that improves with time. In business, Polly might be used to sync with your work programs, reading submitted forms out loud. It’s been used to create audiobooks. In the healthcare field, Polly is used right now in the UK to help with home health monitoring. Some portions of the population are not comfortable with apps and other devices; this the perfect tool for telephone users.

3. Rekognition – “With Rekognition, you can detect objects, scenes, faces, recognize celebrities, and identify inappropriate content in images. You can also search and compare faces.” Rekognition offers many possibilities.

● User verification. Log in to programs and enter places with face-based verification.

● C-SPAN is using this to tag people speaking on camera.

● Cameras on cars could use it to identify hazards.

● Watching your weight? Someday you’ll be able to take a picture of your food and an app will estimate the number of calories in it, saving you the trouble of scanning barcodes or typing things in.

● After a car accident, you could take a photo of the damage and a program will estimate the repair cost and insurance coverage.

● While facial recognition is happening now in security systems and Facebook tagging, this will make it more ubiquitous.

● Rekognition can detect sentiments of shoppers, which improves marketing and advertising.

● Identify plants and animals for education or safety.

● Medical problems. Imagine if you could take a photo of a rash and find out whether it’s serious. There are myriad other potential medical uses, though working out the ethical and safety considerations will take time.

● Rekognition can flag adult content to restrict it from certain users and moderate content.

● It can estimate people’s age range.

4. Machine Learning – We’ve discussed before how machine learning can take data sets and analyze them, producing patterns and predictions humans cannot. These tools are used now for all sorts of things from fraud detection on your credit card to high school coaches analyzing sports coverage and predicting how many people will walk through a restaurant’s door each night.

These are just some of the amazon ai services bringing the power of AI to business owners. If you’re ready to take advantage of the AI revolution, contact us to build AI into your app.


Pete Peranzo

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