AT&T comes up with sensible idea to cash in on AI craze

It isn’t often we actually say this, but a telco has come up with a good idea as opposed to ripping someone else off, reinventing the wheel or using Kevin Bacon to make the brand seem cool (in someone’s head this made sense).

AT&T has paired up with Tech Mahindra to build AI marketplace called Acumos, which will be hosted by The Linux Foundation. It is a relatively simple idea as well. But all the best ones are.

With the craze of AI building every day, there are countless applications which do very specific things, whatever that might be. Incorporating these applications into a business function or creating a new product with AI as the foundation is complicated, as there are so many different moving parts. Acumos creates a single marketplace where you can stitch together various different applications to make a complete solution, without having to hunt around extensively.

Assuming there is traction with the developers, it could turn into a very useful little marketplace. All the AI ideas in one place. The complicated bit, which might decide whether it is a success or failure, will be making it accessible. AT&T and Tech Mahindra have said this isn’t just for data scientists, but for any developer who has a focus on creating apps and microservices. Translating this into an effective user-centric proposition for those who have limited (or no) AI experience will not be a simple task.

Just to demonstrate how it works, we’ve copied AT&T’s example below.


AI example


“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, VP 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”

This is not the first venture for AT&T into such open source initiatives. The same model was used to launch the Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP), but in this example the team spent a while developing an internal platform, called ECOMP, before releasing it into open source. AT&T and Tech Mahindra are still working on the governance side of things now, so a 2018 release does seen more realistic.

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