The largest event in AWS world is the annual AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. This post includes a recap of 2018 conference and some predictions for this year on data and AI.
This year AWS re:Invent will be held December 2-6, 2019. The conference has up to 50,000 participants to hear the latest news on AWS. The conference provides wide range of keynotes, product announcements, talks, vendor expos and hands-on training sessions.
Recap from AWS re:Invent 2018
Here is a recap of interesting and somewhat surprising announcements from 2018 conference.
AWS made last year several announcements for AI services, including:
- Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth – Provides access to public and private human labelers with built-in workflows for common labeling tasks
- Amazon Textract – OCR service to extract text from images
- Amazon Forecast – A fully managed service to provide forecasts using machine learning
- Amazon Personalize – Real-time personalization and recommendation services.
These advanced AI services speed up the machine learning usage, provided the use cases are suitable for the problem to be solved.
Major big hurdle in machine learning adoptation is lack of high quality training data. Ground Truth attempts to help to include the “human in the loop” for process using AI.
Blockchain and timeseries databases
New databases were introduced at re:Invent 2018. These databases included:
- Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) – Fully managed ledger database to be used with blockchains
- Amazon Managed Blockchain – Creation and management of scalable blockchain networks with Hyperlegder Fabric.
- Amazon Timestream – A fully managed timeseries database.
The two blockchain databases brought Amazon into managed blockchain world. As the Bitcoin hype is evaporating, managed and private blockchain solutions are emerging. Support for Ethereum will be most likely be announced this year for Amazon Managed Blockchain.
Northern Europe got a new region last year as EU Stockholm was added as new region. This was a great piece of news for AWS customers in Nordic countries. New announcements about wider support on EU Stockholm are still welcome this year.
AWS Well-Architected Tool
AWS Well-Architected Tool was announced in 2018 as a part of AWS tooling on top of Well-Architectured Framework. There will hopefully be additional announcements to improve the suggestions and provide more automation for AWS architecture reviews.
What to expect in AWS re:Invent 2019
Here are my predictions what might be announced this year.
New AI services
As machine learning is moving towards higher layers in the foodchain, AWS will add more high-level, specialized AI services. These will help the adaption of AI services also in the organizations without large pool of data scientists.
Machine Learning Operations
AWS has put a large effort around Amazon SageMaker, the machine learning development platform. New models, algorithms and tooling will be included as part of the platform. To really deploy machine learning models into production use, additional tooling might be added to ease machine learning operations.
Natural Language Support
Many AI services from AWS are heavily language related, including Amazon Textract. The support for smaller language groups such as Nordic languages and even German and Dutch are not typically included in AWS voice, text and speech services. Wider range of language support for AI services is eagerly awaited in Europe.
AWS Data Exchange was introduced in November 2019 just weeks before AWS re:Invent 2019 as part of AWS Marketplace. AWS Data Exchange provides unified access to data from third-party providers. This data exchange with APIs will surely include additional announcements from new data providers.