Developer Guide to AI services (no PhD required) at re:Invent

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Re:Invent 2020 is just one week away. What makes this year’s Re:Invent special is that it will be free and you can watch them online from the comfort of your home. Hence you do not need to walk for miles within hotels to jump between sessions.

With the release of many high level AI services in the past two years, it very obvious that AWS is putting their hand where their mouth is with their goal in democratising AI services to all developers. It’s a good news to software developer who has no PhD degree and are wanting to jump into AI. I always believe that AI should not be hard, if it is then we are doing it wrongly. After all the reason why you choose the AI way is to shift the hard part of the problem to the AI to solve.

If you fit within the above profile, then you are in luck! There will be plenty of sessions this year which will help you with your AI journey. I toke the liberty of building the guides below which hopefully can assist you to decide which talks are for you.

Document Retrieval and Search

AI has been widely popular in document retrieval, ranging from OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to first turn the scanned documents into a text counterpart before you analyse them further to understand, extract meaningful information within and allowing you to search and retrieve using natural language processing. If the above resonate with you, then you wouldn’t want to miss the following talks.

Intelligent document processing for the insurance industry

In this session, learn how to use Amazon Textract and Amazon Augmented AI in four easy steps to get your automated document processing workflow into production, at scale. Additionally, learn how Anthem, a health benefits provider, processes insurance claims faster using Amazon Textract.

Finding answers faster with intelligent search

Cognitive search uses machine learning and natural language understanding to transform the way employees access and find information. In this session, see how organizations use Amazon Kendra’s cognitive search capabilities to boost employee productivity, accelerate research and development, and improve customer experiences.

Using AI to automatically find insights in email: A rapid prototyping story

Every day, Liberty Mutual Insurance gets thousands of emails and attachments, and most are manually processed. Join this session for the story of how the Liberty Mutual team built a system that can monitor emails and automatically extract key information and insights from complicated unstructured data like email text and attachments using serverless approach with Amazon Comprehend, Amazon Lex.

Using Amazon Transcribe to make content searchable and accessible

In this session, hear how NASCAR uses Amazon Transcribe to enhance user engagement with automated video subtitles. Learn how you can use Amazon Transcribe to cost-effectively create accurate transcriptions of videos and podcasts, generate metadata for content cataloging and search, and moderate content. This session also covers how to add human-in-the-loop corrections for transcriptions using Amazon Augmented AI (Amazon A2I).D4

Share information by removing language barriers with Amazon Translate

In this session, see how to use Amazon Translate and Amazon Transcribe to create subtitles for educational videos and translate them to the language of the consumer’s choice. The session includes a demonstration of how this process reduced the time it took for information about COVID-19 to be translated to many languages, thus spreading accurate information quickly.

AI in E-commerce

There is no doubt that AI significantly improves e-commerce experience. Recommendation engine enhance product discoverability. Eg. How often did you watch video on YouTube/Netflix due to their recommendation? Companies use forecasting model to predict the demand and supply to help with their inventory stocking, especially during holiday period. Whilst e-commerce shopping is convenient, it also comes with the problem, fraud. Hence, technique like anomaly/fraud detection can be used to combat them. These talks will get you to learn more of the above.

Catch more potential online fraud faster with Amazon Fraud Detector

Globally each year, organizations lose tens of billions of dollars to online fraud. Amazon Fraud Detector, released earlier this year, allows organizations around the globe to take advantage of over 20+ years of fraud detection expertise at Amazon using machine learning. Learn how Amazon fraud mitigation strategies influenced the development of Amazon Fraud Detector, and hear how organizations are applying it with successful outcomes.

Building a successful inventory planning solution with Amazon Forecast

Learn how to save millions of dollars building an inventory management solution powered by Amazon Forecast. Retail companies today use everything from simple spreadsheets to complex planning software to forecast future product demand. These tools build forecasts by looking at a historical series of data, an approach that struggles to produce accurate forecasts. In this session, learn how Amazon Forecast uses machine learning to provide more accurate forecasts for inventory management, and hear how More Retail saved millions of dollars by building an inventory management solution with their technology partner, Ganit, on Amazon Forecast.

Deliver viewing experiences for super fans with Amazon Personalize

It can be challenging to implement an ML-based approach to personalization in the media and entertainment industry, but those companies that do see significant benefits, including increases in video consumption and subscriptions. In this session, learn how Amazon Personalize can help you add ML-powered recommendation engines to your website using pretrained ML models built on years of ML experience at Amazon.

Health and Safety

Despite the popular belief that AI is going to wipe humanity. In contrary, AI tech has been used extensively to keep our community safe. From fighting against COVID-19 into detecting asset damage and vegetation risks due to bush-fire.

COVID-19: Identity verification & work safety with Amazon Rekognition

Today, businesses are looking for ways to adapt to the challenges created by COVID-19. For example, financial businesses need to verify customer identity before accessing online services, educators need to verify student identity during remote tests, and retailers need to keep their employees and customers safe as they interact in physical proximity. Join this session to learn how companies use Amazon Rekognition, a fully managed computer vision service, to continue their business activities with automated and scalable online identity verification and workplace safety compliance.

Fighting wildfire with artificial intelligence

Fueled by heat and wind, wildfires are burning throughout states on the West Coast of the United States. As part of its continued efforts to reduce the risk of wildfire, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is building machine learning models using AWS services to automatically identify asset damage on drone imagery and vegetation risks on satellite imagery. Also, to improve customer awareness ahead of public safety power shutoff events, the company has expanded its communication channels to smart assistants that enable convenient access to important information.

Generative AI

Generative AI is a new trendy kids on the block. I am sure majority of you have seen this in action in some form. Eg. DeepFakes which let you replace Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones movie with your own face, Selfie2Anime which turns your face into an anime character and FaceApp which turns you into your older/younger self. Follow these talks, if these are your things.

Role models: How AI is improving diversity in fashion

What’s the key to the future of diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry? According to Lalaland cofounder and CTO Ugnius Rimsa, it’s AI. Learn how Lalaland uses Amazon services like Amazon Cognito, Amazon SageMaker, Amazon Rekognition, and more to generate human-like models that resemble real people for virtual runways and e-commerce.

Getting started with generative AI with AWS DeepComposer

Generative AI has been used to solve unique problems across industries, from accelerating drug discovery and generating accurate images of tumors for improved cancer diagnosis, to its use with conversational AI, to generating original art pieces. In this session, get hands-on experience with the latest concepts in generative AI — techniques such as GANs and autoregressive models — while having fun through music with AWS DeepComposer.

You’re a machine learning rock star with AWS DeepComposer

AWS DeepComposer is a machine-learning-enabled keyboard that allows you to explore the complexities of generative adversarial networks (GANs) in a fun, interactive, and hands-on way. In this talk, develop machine learning skills (and maybe score your first recording contract) by using generative AI and AWS DeepComposer to compose a unique music track. Learn about music composition and the power of machine learning to create something new. By the end of the talk, you’ll be a machine learning rock star!


These talks are not in any of the above categories, however they are equally interesting and inspiring. Recreating KFC’s Colonel Sanders voice? I am sold already!

Build quality ML models easily & quickly with Amazon SageMaker Autopilot

This session covers how to use Amazon SageMaker Autopilot to automatically build the best machine learning (ML) model for your data and interpret your model’s predictions with just a few clicks. Amazon SageMaker Autopilot automatically trains and tunes hundreds of ML models to optimize your success metric and creates the model that best suits your data. In this session, data analysts can learn to quickly extract insights from data using Amazon SageMaker Autopilot to create and deploy ML models without any ML expertise. Data scientists can learn to use Amazon SageMaker Notebooks to understand how the model was generated and recreate it at any point in the future.

Find your most expensive lines of code with Amazon CodeGuru

A better understanding of your code base helps reduce infrastructure costs, improves application response times, and allows you to tackle service issues faster and more accurately. In this session, learn about Amazon CodeGuru, a developer tool that provides intelligent recommendations to automate code reviews during application development and improves code performance for applications in production.

Using AI to automate clinical workflows

Learn how healthcare organizations can harness the power of AI and machine learning to automate clinical workflows, digitize medical information, extract and summarize medical information, protect patient data, and more. Using AWS document understanding and medical transcription solutions, this session shows you how to extract, analyze, and summarize unstructured data trapped within documents, such as medical records, documents (PDF laboratory reports), forms (insurance claims), images (X-ray, MRI), and audio (recorded conversations). In this session, explore AWS machine learning services like Amazon Textract, Amazon Comprehend, Amazon Comprehend Medical, Amazon Transcribe Medical, and Amazon Kendra.

Recreating Colonel Sanders for KFC Canada using Amazon Polly Brand Voice

With the proliferation of voice-enabled applications, building a voice experience that resonates with your brand and users is critical. In this session, you learn how companies use Amazon Polly, a text-to-speech service, to build voice experiences that are natural and engaging. The session also includes a discussion of Amazon Polly’s Brand Voice solution and how KFC Canada is using Amazon Polly to recreate the iconic voice of KFC’s founder, Colonel Harland Sanders.

Ok, hopefully these guides are useful and enjoy your re:Invent!

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