Amazon Plans to Make AI Apps Easy to Build

The contest between Amazon.com and Alphabet to win over developers for their virtual assistants, Alexa and Google Assistant, may come down to whether developers want simpler tools that can do less.

Amazon has prioritized AI tools that are easy for developers to work on, conscious that many developers don’t have the resources to work on complicated AI technology, according to Swami Sivasubramanian, the vice president in charge of artificial intelligence at Amazon’s AWS unit.

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Apple opened its Siri voice assistant to third-party developers last June, but its API works with a limited set of application types, including VoIP calling, messaging, payments, photos, workouts, ride booking, car commands and restaurant reservations. Apple, like Amazon, will limit the voice commands that developers can incorporate, said a person who works with the company.  

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“Right now we are at a stage where building anything serious in machine learning requires a Ph.D.”