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Amazon’s DeepLens Gives You AI-Powered Image Recognition Capabilities for $250

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Amazon recently started shipping a $250 device that helps developers see the world through a machine’s eyes. It’s called DeepLens, and it’s a deep learning enabled video camera designed for developers.

The camera uses deep learning, an artificial intelligence technology, to recognize objects within its view. That can then help developers build AI-powered applications that use this type of image recognition.

For instance, one of Amazon’s team members lives in an area in Washington state where bears are common. So he used DeepLens to build a program that recognizes bears, then texts him when it sees one, according to GeekWire.

But that’s just to give you a sense of how this works. Amazon isn’t trying to corner the bear-sighting market.

Rather, it’s making a concerted effort to put easy-to-use tools in the hands of developers, just like it did with Amazon Web Services (AWS). In fact, according to GeekWire, Amazon says:

“...the camera is part of a mission to do with machine learning what AWS did for cloud computing: put powerful tools from one of the biggest tech companies in the world into the hands of developers of all skill levels. DeepLens offers developers another entry point into Amazon’s ecosystem, using many of the same tools deployed in other parts of the platform.”

The camera comes pre-loaded with some machine learning models, so even developers who don’t know anything about AI can get started tinkering around in minutes.

But if this is a developer-focused image recognition device, why does it matter to marketers?

Why Should Marketers Care?

In a word: democratization.

Devices like DeepLens are making it extremely easy and cheap to get powerful AI into the hands of developers. You might not care about that if you’re not a developer. But you will care about it once the developers start creating AI applications that non-developers can use.

We saw this trend play out with Amazon Web Services. AWS made it easy and cheap for people to access serious cloud computing power. This was the catalyst for an explosion of sites, tools and services built on the platform. It even accelerated the ability for startup entrepreneurs to launch full online services, some of which you probably use today. It democratized computing power.

We see items like DeepLens doing something similar, except now with different types of AI. DeepLens can help developers create computer vision and image recognition programs and services faster, which will in turn result in even more AI-powered consumer applications, including in marketing.

As more devices like DeepLens launch, AI progress will accelerate. You’ll see AI in more places. It’ll be used in more services and tools. And, make no mistake, it’ll make its way into your marketing in more ways than one (if it hasn’t already).

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