AI ‘to be killer app’ for next-gen cloud computing

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Cloud computing has become an essential part of many business' operations over the past few years, but as the technology advances and becomes more powerful, new use cases for the technology are emerging all the time. One solution that is set for an explosion of interest is artificial intelligence (AI).

It was stated this week by a leading top executive at the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) that AI is set to become the 'killer app' that will drive the cloud computing market forward in the coming years.

Speaking at the Cloud Expo Asia conference in Singapore, chairman of the ACCA Bernie Trudel said that while currently, AI services account for just one per cent of the global cloud market, it is growing at a rate of 52 per cent overall.

"We're starting to see AI having a significant impact on cloud computing," he added. "If you extrapolate what the analysts are saying, there’s faster growth in AI, with ten per cent of cloud revenue expected to come from AI by 2025."

While the market for cloud-based AI remains in the early stages, several major cloud suppliers are already offering AI solutions, with Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM, Google and Microsoft all expressing interest.

Mr Trudel noted that AWS offers application programming interfaces that deliver solutions including natural language processing, text-to-speech processing and image recognition and facial analysis, in addition to familiar consumer services such as the Alexa virtual assistant. 

However, despite the fact AWS is a clear market leader in cloud computing, it is still playing catchup when it comes to AI, which may indicate how much untapped potential there is in this market. 

Elsewhere, Google is using AI to improve the efficiency of its data centres, and this technology is being looked at by national grid providers and energy suppliers to help improve efficiency within their own networks.

Mr Trudel also noted that in the coming years, we can expect to see major cloud providers work towards providing "general AI" services in addition to specific applications such as image recognition. As they do this, other players such as Apple, Facebook and Baidu are also expected to join the market with their own AI solutions.