Google’s officials announced they’re offering limited access to a new machine-learning platform that everyone can use.


( — April 8, 2016) — Google’s job since inception has been to make everyone’s lives easier, from everyday consumers to business people. At the NEXT Google Cloud Platform user conference in San Francisco, Google’s officials announced they’re taking it a step further by offering limited access to a new machine-learning platform that everyone can use.

An Open, Cloud Platform for Streamlined Data Integration

The service they’re offering is used by Google Photos, Translate, and Inbox to collect data and streamline processes in business. It’s supposed to make it easier for developers to use the power of Big Data and machine learning to power other features offered by Google, including the ability to identify images inside apps, recognize commands spoken into Android Phones, and collect data to improve the user experience online.

“Major Google applications use Cloud Machine Learning, including Photos (image search), the Google app (voice search), Translate and Inbox (Smart Reply),” the company says in the official announcement. “Our platform is now available as a cloud service to bring unmatched scale and speed to your business applications.”

Furthering Machine-Learning and Artificial Intelligence

The decision to make the platform more widely available comes following a widespread move towards deep learning and artificial intelligence. It’s not that these machine learning devices are meant to take over the business need for humans, but that they will improve efficiencies and make human jobs a little easier.

Ultimately, Google wants to give companies access to crowd-sourced data that they haven’t had previously. “You’re going to use machine learning to take that data and do something that’s better than what the humans are doing,” said Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt during the official announcement.

There are two main applications for the latest Google technology. The first is to give developers the ability to build their own machine learning models and the second is to offer training for machine learning models already in existence.

“Cloud Machine Learning will take care of everything from data ingestion through to prediction,” the company says. “The result: now any application can take advantage of the same deep learning techniques that power many of Google’s services.”

A Push Towards Cloud-Based Machine Learning

This move is a big step in what tech gurus are calling the right direction as far as machine learning. Moving it towards the cloud is going to level the playing field and increase competition at the same time.

“It’s a great time to be in the cloud,” said Schmidt. He also states that the future will continue to move towards the cloud and more changes will take place in this direction in the near future. “Over the next five years, I expect to see more change in computing than in the last five decades.”

Microsoft and Amazon have also been pushing towards cloud platforms for machine learning, which essentially means it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world’s tech industry moves with it.

What’s perhaps most important about Google’s announcement is their obvious power play towards taking over the cloud market first. Other companies are openly racing to it, but this is one of the biggest moves we’ve seen yet. 

“It has become clear that the public cloud is the way of the future,” top Google engineer Urs Hölzle told WIRED. “One day, this could be bigger than ads. Certainly, in terms of market potential, it is.”