AT&T Launches Open Source AI Platform

Collaborating with Tech Mahindra on platform called Acumos, AT&T is releasing to be hosted by the Linux Foundation.

October 30, 2017

4 Min Read

AT&T wants to make artificial intelligence accessible to everyone. To that end, we’re collaborating with Tech Mahindra to build an open source artificial intelligence (AI) platform, Acumos, hosted by The Linux Foundation that makes it easy to build, share and deploy AI applications. The platform will provide a marketplace for accessing, using and enhancing those applications.

Over the past several decades, AI has evolved from a sci-fi concept. It’s now integrated into our data-driven world. But creating new AI apps is a complex and expensive undertaking. The industry needs a way to make those apps reusable and accessible to those beyond the company that created them, and simplify deployments to lower the barrier to entry. That’s the only way to keep up with customer demand.

Enter the Acumos platform. It’s an extensible framework for machine learning solutions. It provides the capability to edit, integrate, compose, package, train and deploy AI microservices. Simply put, it’s an AI marketplace where applications can be chained to create complex and sophisticated AI services.

Take someone who wants to create an AI application for video analytics. The Acumos platform gives them a variety of applications to choose from, like location tracking and facial recognition. The simple platform interface lets you choose AI capabilities and stitch them together automatically so they function as a single application. In this case, the new service could identify where the video was shot based on background landmarks, and identify the speakers in it – design and deploy in a single interface and with minimal additional code development.

Content curation, autonomous cars, drones, and augmented reality/virtual reality are other areas where AI models could be used with the Acumos platform.

“Our goal with open sourcing the Acumos platform is to make building and deploying AI applications as easy as creating a website,” said Mazin Gilbert, vice president of Advanced Technology at AT&T Labs. “We’re collaborating with Tech Mahindra to establish an industry standard for AI in the networking space. We invite others to join us to create a global harmonization in AI and set the stage for all future AI network applications and services.”

The Acumos platform is built on open source technologies and can federate across the various AI tools available today, enabling easy access for developers and businesses.

“We’re opening up AI. We’re focusing on the telecommunication, media and technology spaces, starting with the network. The platform will be available to anyone and the more users who adopt it, the better it will get,” added Gilbert.

And it’s all powered by AT&T Indigo, our next-generation platform for delivering a seamless network experience.

“Our investment in AI solutions over the past few years is helping us find tremendous opportunity to make it simpler for higher adoption,” said Raman Abrol, SVP & Strategic Business Unit Head at Tech Mahindra. “In collaboration with AT&T, we will help enable enterprises apply AI to reimagine business models, unlock the potential of data and drive business outcomes. Our ultimate goal with the Acumos Project is to accelerate and industrialize the deployment of AI at enterprises and get developers and businesses to collaborate effectively in order to improve how we all live, work and play.”

“With the Acumos Project, AT&T and Tech Mahindra are leading the way in bringing AI and machine learning tools to the developer community,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “Making it easy for developers to get involved and to really steer the ecosystem around the project in the direction they want it to go is the key to making the Acumos platform successful.”

AT&T previously used this model to launch ONAP, the operating system for virtualized networks. But in that case, though, we spent years developing our own internal platform, called ECOMP, before releasing it into open source via The Linux Foundation.

Here, we’re enhancing that approach with the Acumos Project. We’re getting the initial framework into open source as quickly as possible. That way, the developer community can accelerate the development of the platform. AI is quickly becoming a vital tool for businesses in almost every industry. There’s no time to waste in establishing a common platform for everyone to use and evolve.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)

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