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Google Cloud AutoML Lets Users Create Smart Image-Based Apps

Building on its vision to make AI “work for everyone,” Google today launched a new cloud-based service for building artificial intelligence systems without advanced programming expertise. Cloud AutoML is aimed at users that could benefit from AI-powered applications for business, research, conservation, and other needs.

The first tool Google is rolling out under the new service is Cloud AutoML Vision for intelligent image recognition. Rather than requiring code, AutoML Vision uses a drag-and-drop interface to help users train, manage, and deploy machine learning-powered applications for image-based intelligence.

For example, a clothing store could use the service to help customers search for and find tops with scoop necklines without having to first manually tag every individual product with that style. Instead, Cloud AutoML Vision could be used to “train” the retailer’s systems to automatically recognize scoop-necked tops based on product images alone.

On a Mission To ‘Democratize’ AI

During Google’s I/O developers conference in May, CEO Sundar Pichai highlighted the company’s goal of helping customers apply AI and machine learning to a broader array of daily tasks ranging from email and job hunting to healthcare and virtual reality. One of the initiatives Pichai unveiled as part of the mission to “democratize” AI was an effort to use machine learning to design even better machine learning.

That capability is an essential part of what Google’s new Cloud AutoML does: it uses advanced techniques, such as transfer learning, which takes knowledge gained from working on one type of problem and applies it to different types of related problems, or automated learning, that is, teaching machines how to learn to learn.

“Currently, only a handful of businesses in the world have access to the talent and budgets needed to fully appreciate the advancements of ML and AI,” Google cloud AI chief scientist Fei-Fei Li and…

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