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AI-Artificial-Intelligence-Machine-Learning-Cognitive-ComputingGoogle has entered into the machine learning market with the alpha release of Cloud Machine Learning.

Built on top of the company’s open source machine learning system TensorFlow, the offering will allow customers to build custom algorithms the make predictions for their business, aiding decision making.

“At Google, researchers collaborate closely with product teams, applying the latest advances in machine learning to existing products and services – such as speech recognition in the Google app, search in Google Photos and the Smart Reply feature in Inbox by Gmail,” said Slaven Bilac, Software Engineer at Google Research. “At GCP NEXT 2016, we announced the alpha release of Cloud Machine Learning, a framework for building and training custom models to be used in intelligent applications.”

The system is already used in a number of Google’s current offerings, though it is later to market than its competitors. AWS launched its machine learning in April last year, while IBM’s Watson has been making noise in the industry for years.

Although later to market, Google has highlighted that it will allow customers to export their TensorFlow models to use in other settings, including their own on premise data centres. Other offerings operate in vendor lock-in situation, meaning their customers have to operate the machine-learning models they’ve built in the cloud through an API. Industry insiders have told BCN that avoiding vendor lock-in situations would be seen as a priority within their organization, which could provide Google with an edge in the machine-learning market segment.

Cloud Machine Learning’s launch builds on the growing trend towards advanced data analytics and the use of data to refine automated decision making capabilities. A recent survey from Cloud World Forum showed that 85% of respondents believe data analytics is the biggest game changer for marketing campaigns in the last five years, while 82% said that data would define the way in which they interact with customers.

The company is still behind Microsoft and AWS in the public cloud space, though recent moves are showing Google’s intent to close the gap. At GCP NEXT 2016, Google’s cloud chief Diane Greene told the audience that machine learning and security will form the back bone of her new sales strategy. “If your customer is embracing machine learning, it’d be prudent for you to embrace it too,” said Greene.

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