Google buys Kaggle and its gaggle of AI geeks

Allan Goodman
March 10, 2017

"This API is for large media organizations and consumer technology companies, who want to build their media catalogs or find easy ways to manage crowd-sourced content, and for partners like Cantemo to build it into their own video management software", Google's Fei-Fei Li wrote yesterday on the company's Cloud Platform blog. Numerous organizations use the platform to crowd source machine learning tasks via online programming contests that are open to nearly anyone with an interest in the space.

The partnership was disclosed at Google Cloud Next 17, which is now taking place in San Francisco.

During the Google Cloud Next Conference in San Francisco, Google revealed a new machine learning application program interface (API) called Cloud Video Intelligence.

"The thing that's interesting is that it's [Google Cloud Platform] more than Infrastructure as a Service". One unusual detail pertaining to this deal is that SAP will remain responsible for data running on the Google Cloud Platform as the companies are hoping that move will be beneficial to the adoption rate of their cloud services.

"The strategic relationship with Google is an exciting launch that addresses a growing market need", said Patrick Lee, general manager of the Google business at Rackspace. The decision comes as no surprise, as the company has spent the last decade trying to innovate machine learning and develop artificial intelligence, one of Kaggle's primary goals.

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Although it is unclear how Google will utilise Kaggle's expertise, Li said there would be combined efforts to support "machine learning training and deployment services, while offering the community the ability to store and query large datasets".

SAP is also planning to expand its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering by making its cloud platform available on GCP. Specifically, it has introduced Cloud Video Intelligence API, in beta for developers that will allow them to recognize objects in the videos, and even identify the context to yield a more accurate result. "Users can type in words such as "dog", "flower" or human", or verbs such as "run", "swim" or fly", and search within every shot or frame of every video file in their catalogs. The Cloud Video Intelligence API is now in private beta only, so business will get their hands on it much before you can use it. Until now, image recognition APIs available in the cloud worked only for still images, but with the help of this new API, developers will be able to build applications that let users search and discover information in videos.

This is the view of Gartner VP research fellow, David Smith, who said the new agreement with SAP gives Google more an "enterprise credibility smell".

Increasing multi-cloud adoption has driven Google Cloud adoption to almost double over the past year, according to 451 Research. In another demo, the presenter searched for "beach" and was presented with multiple videos that included beach scenes.

Meanwhile, Google also announced that Cloud SQL now supports PostreSQL. "We're here for real", Schmidt said.

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