Cloud

Oracle's AI-powered cloud, bot solutions power data analytics and improved UX

At Oracle OpenWorld, the company unveiled its AI Platform Cloud Service and AI-powered chatbots to make it easier to integrate machine learning solutions into the enterprise.

On Monday, Oracle announced its AI Platform Cloud Service, which will help developers more quickly create and deploy AI solutions in the enterprise, according to a press release.

The cloud service, unveiled at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, will allow companies to tap deep learning capabilities "to better understand enterprise data and transform corporate business processes and user experiences," the release stated.

With the platform, developers and data scientists can rapidly set up a secure and scalable environment for new deep learning models in the cloud, Oracle said. Oracle Cloud has been engineered to streamline model training by tapping customers' key enterprise data, object storage, and GPUs, according to the release.

The AI Platform Cloud instances come with several AI libraries, tools, and deep learning frameworks already installed, the release noted, including Caffe, Jupyter Notebook, Keras, NymPy, scikit-learn, and TensorFlow. Oracle Object Store is also available for machine learning users, and can easily connect to existing Spark/Hadoop clusters.

SEE: IT leader's guide to the future of artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)

The differentiated infrastructure layer includes NVMe flash storage and best-in-class GPUs on a 25 gigabit network for extreme performance, the press release stated. The platform also includes a GPU Bare-Metal Shape, with two Tesla P100 GPUs, and will soon support the new Volta GPUs as well.

Perhaps most interesting is the fact that, in an industry standard benchmark test, Oracle achieved 2X greater performance than Azure's largest GPU instance, and was 2.4X better price-performance than the closest AWS equivalent, the release noted.

After a company trains a machine learning model, its developers can access Oracle's set of Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings for inclusion in AI-powered applications.

"AI has the power to be more transformative for the enterprise than any other technology in recent history," Amit Zavery, senior vice president of product development at Oracle Cloud Platform, said in the release. "Oracle is in a unique position to deliver AI across all layers of the cloud, empowering customers to uncover and unlock critical business patterns in their enterprise data to transform organizational productivity, efficiency, and insight."

On Monday, Oracle also announced the availability of AI-powered chatbots in the Oracle Mobile Cloud, offering companies a multi-channel platform, with deep analytics that can link information across bots, mobile applications, and the web to better engage with customers across platforms.

This updated Oracle Mobile Cloud offering uses machine learning, allowing enterprises to build applications that can automate more engaging conversations with customers at scale. Using deep learning-based natural language understanding to understand the intent of a request or question, these bots can then help companies process the information, integrate with existing business application data, and automatically respond.

Oracle's bots will work with Facebook Messenger, Kik, Skype, Slack, and digital voice assistants such as Amazon Echo, Amazon Dot, and Google Home. They also provide a JavaScript SDK to extend mobile and web-based applications with chat and voice capabilities via Apple Siri, Google Voice, or Microsoft Cortana.

"As user behavior has dramatically shifted to mobile and messaging platforms, it is critical enterprises evolve to support stakeholders' preferred channels," Zavery said in a press release. "By using Oracle Mobile Cloud, businesses will be able to continue strengthening these relationships, even as users might be moving away from engaging on websites and traditional mobile applications to messaging channels."

A recent Gartner study found that Oracle's PaaS offerings grew 167% in the past year, bringing in $181 million in revenue. However, the company did not crack the top 10 largest Infrastructure as a Service vendors.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

1. On Monday at Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle announced its AI Platform Cloud Service, which will help developers more quickly create and deploy AI in the enterprise

2. Oracle also announced the availability of AI-powered chatbots in the Oracle Mobile Cloud, offering companies a multi-channel platform, with deep analytics that can link information across bots, mobile applications, and the web to better engage with customers across platforms.

3. Both new offerings seek to make it easier to deploy and scale machine learning solutions in the enterprise to improve data analysis and customer experiences.

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Image: iStockphoto/monsitj

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About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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