Alibaba Cloud positions itself on AI as a service

The digital unit of Chinese giant Alibaba continues to expand its cloud services offering, notably with a new platform dedicated to artificial intelligence.

Alibaba Cloud, the digital arm of Chinese competitor Amazon, is launching an open source Model-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform called ModelScope. This platform already embeds more than 300 AI models, some of which are already pre-trained. It also announces the availability of a “serverless” database family and an upgrade to its data analytics service.

In more ways than one, the ModelScope initiative – which seeks to further popularize artificial intelligence in enterprises with pre-designed models – resembles what Google Cloud offers in Vertex AI (and its model registration), what AWS undertakes with the SageMaker marketplace, or Azure with the Azure AI Gallery .

But here the ModelScope platform is open source and open to independent developers. The latter has already contributed by putting dozens of models online. The platform also offers pre-trained models such as Tongyi, capable of transforming text into an image with five billion parameters, and One-For-All, another pre-trained model from six billion parameters and specialized in subtitling images and the answer to visual questions.

The other development area that Alibaba Cloud currently focuses on is the provision of database management systems in “as a service and serverless” mode in order not to have to venture into the problems of DBMS administration/optimization/updating/scaling.

Alibaba Cloud offers in serverless DBaaS its own native Cloud PolarDB cloud base and the AnalyticDB and ApsaraDB data warehouses. To date, about twenty services today are marked “Serverless”.

Not to be outdone by Azure Synapse, Google Data Cloud, Amazon RedShift/Athena/Kinesis/EMR. Snowflake and other Teradata Vantage Cloud, Alibaba Cloud also created its own ‘Open Data Platform and Services’ ODPS solution, an integrated data analysis and intelligent computing platform to provide processing and analysis services. The platform can process online and offline data in one system. According to Alibaba Cloud, these capabilities should accelerate the identification of good business solutions.

A development of the offer, which unsurprisingly follows the market. President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, Jeff Zhang, states in a press release: As more customers accelerate cloud adoption, we’ve expanded our cloud-based resources, services and tools to become serverless, smarter and digitized… “.

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