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Amazon Cloud Gets Smarter at Image Analysis

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Rekognition gets the ability to recognize faces

On June 8, 2017, Amazon (AMZN) announced that it had added celebrity image recognition to its photo analysis tool, which is available on Amazon Web Services (or AWS).

The company said the update gives Rekognition software the ability to identify hundreds of thousands of prominent faces in politics, business, sports, entertainment, and media. Amazon said the list of people that Rekognition can identify in a photo is global and that it continues to update the list to expand the tool’s scope.

Amazon’s Rekognition tool is aimed at developers who can utilize it to build image search and indexing capabilities into their apps.

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A coveted technology

Image recognition is a component of artificial intelligence (or AI), an area of interest for technology companies such as Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google, Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL), and Facebook (FB).

AI technologies are increasingly being used in fields such as marketing and security. For companies like Google and Amazon, AI is used to boost the relevance of service or product searches.

Boosting appeal of AWS

Updating Rekognition can be viewed as another attempt by Amazon to improve the appeal of AWS so consumers and enterprises can differentiate it from the competition. Amazon is facing off with Microsoft, Google, Oracle (ORCL), and a host of other rivals in the cloud computing market.

AWS generated revenues of $3.7 billion in 1Q17, implying 43.0% growth from 1Q16.

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