Top 8 Artificial Intelligence Software

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Over the past decade, artificial intelligence software has gone from being a futuristic promise to an everyday reality. Today, most enterprises are either using or at least experimenting with some sort of AI technology. Most have realized that they have to be using these tools if they want to keep up with their competitors.

But artificial intelligence is a broad field and the term means many different things to different people. Artificial intelligence encompasses machine learning, computer vision, computer speech, sentiment analysis, text recognition and a whole host of other types of services that used to be easier for humans to accomplish than machines.

That makes selecting artificial intelligence software much more difficult than most enterprise software purchases, because it's difficult to come up with an apples-to-apples comparison of products.

Making things even more complicated, AI has become such a hot trend that many types of enterprise software now advertise their artificial intelligence capabilities. Everything from marketing automation solutions to databases to ERP solutions claims to be powered by artificial intelligence.

The list of vendors below focuses primarily on machine learning, which underpins most other types of AI. But even within this more narrow category, choosing the right vendor for your companies particular needs can be tricky. The tips below can help.

Tips for selecting artificial intelligence software

Be prepared to make a public cloud purchase. If you are considering purchasing artificial intelligence software, you will almost certainly be running it in a public cloud. That's because machine learning and other types of artificial intelligence requires powerful hardware with plenty of memory and advanced GPUs. And the most cost-effective way to get access to that hardware is almost certainly in the cloud.

While accessing cloud-based software is easy and convenient, you will need to have appropriate security safeguards in place. You also need to have appropriate policies, procedures, and technology to help you optimize your cloud spending — particularly when you are going to buying cloud instances that are on the more expensive end of the scale.

Make sure you thoroughly understand your goals and needs. The artificial intelligence software market is incredibly broad with a dizzying array of products available. If you don't keep your objectives in mind, you might get distracted by all the bells and whistles and purchase products that can do a lot of different things but aren't necessarily best at what you intended.

Be mindful of your staff's level of expertise. If you have a fully staffed data science department, your best option might be to create custom machine learning solutions based on the wide variety of different open source tools available. On the other hand, if your company is going to have business analysts with a lower level of technical expertise creating your models, you should probably look at solutions with simplified interfaces and plenty of built-in templates.

Consider the vendor's entire ecosystem when making an artificial intelligence software purchase. Very few enterprises will be buying just one piece of artificial intelligence software. You'll likely be using a number of different machine learning tools and possibly also APIs that can add capabilities like natural language processing, concept mapping and recommendation engines to your own applications. While many tools do offer support for open source and competing products, many enterprises find it most convenient and cost effective to buy all these capabilities from a single vendor.

Plan to start small and scale. Most organizations start with a relatively small AI pilot project and then expand as their staff's capabilities grow and as they become more familiar with what the tools can do. In general, cloud-based tools are good at scaling, but as you look at pricing and feature sets, keep in mind that your AI project will likely become much bigger in a relatively short period of time after your initial purchase.

So with those tips in mind, which vendors and products should you consider? Because there are so many different types of artificial intelligence software available, narrowing it down to the top eight was very difficult. This list includes eight leading machine learning platforms that provide a good foundation for other artificial intelligence software. And all of these products either come from vendors that offer additional types of AI software or are compatible with a broad spectrum of artificial intelligence software.

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Amazon SageMaker

Value proposition for potential buyers

Amazon Web Services remains the undisputed champion of the cloud computing market, and it offers a full range of cloud-based artificial intelligence software. SageMaker is its fully managed machine learning platform that aims to simplify the process of building, training and deploying ML models.

Key values/differentiators

  • Amazon claims that its pre-installed optimized algorithms perform 10 times better than others.
  • Because SageMaker is fully managed and includes so many built-in features that simplify ML processes, it costs less than many other approaches to machine learning — up to 75 percent less by Amazon's reckoning.
  • It offers one-click training with automatic tuning capabilities.
  • It's easy to deploy SageMaker thanks to one-click deploying and auto-scaling features.

Apache PredictionIO

Value proposition for potential buyers

While most of the artificial intelligence software on this list is cloud-based, Apache PredictionIO is an open source machine learning tool that provides the foundation for many other products, including some on this list. It might be a good option for developers or data scientists who have the skills to craft a custom AI solution to meet their unique needs.

Key values/differentiators

  • PredictionIO is free to use thanks to its open source licensing.
  • Customizable templates make it easy to deploy PredictionIO as a recommendation engine in Web applications.
  • It supports other open source tools like Spark MLLib and OpenNLP.
  • A large user base means that plenty of documentation and resources are available, and the software gets updated regularly.

Google AI Platform

Value proposition for potential buyers

Because of its search engine and other services, Google is one of the world's largest users of artificial intelligence software, and it has integrated those capabilities into its AI Platform. It also offers a wide range of other AI tools, and the company contributes heavily to TensorFlow as well.

Key values/differentiators

  • Google's AI services are based on open source software and are designed not to lock users in to a particular vendor.
  • The AI Platform is compatible with other Google artificial intelligence and cloud computing services.
  • It includes a variety of services designed to cover the entire AI workflow from end-to-end.
  • Google has partnerships with many other vendors that complement and extend the AI Platform's capabilities.

IBM Watson

Value proposition for potential buyers

IBM was one of the first pioneers of artificial intelligence, and its Watson platform was one of the first AI platforms on the market. Today, Watson includes a huge range of different machine learning and cognitive computing services that are easily accessible in the cloud.

Key values/differentiators

  • Watson offers an incredible breadth of services that cover nearly every AI use case.
  • IBM's Watson services integrate with its other enterprise software and cloud computing offerings.
  • IBM also has a strong services division and consultants that can help enterprises map out their AI strategy.
  • The platform includes its unique OpenScale monitoring solution that helps companies track how well AI initiatives are helping users make progress towards their goals.

Microsoft Azure AI

Value proposition for potential buyers

Microsoft has cemented its position as the second most popular public cloud provider, and like AWS, Google and IBM, it has a very broad range of services in its Azure AI platform. It has also achieved some noteworthy technological breakthroughs, having been the first AI service to achieve human parity in object recognition, speech recognition and machine translation.

Key values/differentiators

  • Azure offers a broad range of AI services for a wide variety of use cases.
  • Microsoft's services are compatible with many of the most popular machine learning tools, as well as with other Microsoft software and cloud services.
  • The platform includes a unique knowledge mining service that aims to extract valuable data from enterprise's stores of unstructured data.
  • Microsoft's platform is designed to meet enterprise security and compliance requirements.

Salesforce Einstein

Value proposition for potential buyers

Salesforce has been increasingly branching out from its niche as a provider of cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solutions into an enterprise software vendor with a larger group of offerings. While this tool only makes sense for customers that use the Salesforce CRM, the Einstein platform does make it incredibly easy to extract insights form CRM data, and the company is also experimenting with new AI features like voice recognition.

Key values/differentiators

  • Einstein integrates directly with the Salesforce CRM.
  • The service aims to put AI insights directly in front of staff who can use the information to increase sales and improve customer service.
  • It includes a recommendation engine that can offer advice to customers or employees.
  • Einstein also includes built-in support for chatbots.


Value proposition for potential buyers

TensorFlow is probably the most widely known and widely used open source machine learning platform. It forms the basis for many cloud-based artificial intelligence software, and data scientists often use it to create custom AI solutions.

Key values/differentiators

  • TensorFlow's open source licensing makes it free to use.
  • Because TensorFlow has so many users, most other AI solutions are designed to be compatible with this framework.
  • The large community of users also means that extensive support and a large community is available.
  • While it isn't as easy to use as some of the fully managed AI solutions, TensorFlow does offer easy model building and production-level quality.


Value proposition for potential buyers

While it isn't as well known as some of the other artificial intelligence software on this list, Wipro HOLMES has achieved acclaim for its automation capabilities. It's a good fit for some particular AI use cases like automated service request fulfillment, IT monitoring, contract intelligence and insurance claims fraud detection.

Key values/differentiators

    • Wipro emphasizes HOLMES's ability to meet needs for particular enterprise use cases.
    • The platform has very strong automation capabilities.
    • Wipro supports its technology with consultants who can help clients get the most out of their AI investments.
    • It targets specific vertical markets like banking, retail, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Artificial intelligence software comparison chart

AI Software

Value Proposition

Key Differentiators

Amazon SageMaker

Fully managed platform from the cloud leader

·      10x faster algorithms

·      Lower costs

·      Automatic training and tuning

·      Easy deployment

Apache PreditionIO

Open source tool that excels at creating recommendation engines

·      Open source licensing

·      Built-in templates

·      Support for other tools

·      Large user base

Google AI Platform

Range of services based on the technology Google uses for its own services

·      No vendor lock-in

·      Compatibility with other Google Cloud services

·      End-to-end AI lifecycle support

·      Vendor partnerships

IBM Watson

Broad range of services from one of the earliest AI pioneers

·      Broad use case support

·      Integration with other IBM products and services

·      Expert consultants available

·      OpenScale monitoring

Microsoft Azure AI

Broad range of services compatible with other Microsoft products

·      Broad range of services

·      Support for many other AI tools

·      Knowledge mining service

·      Enterprise-class security and compliance

Salesforce Einstein

AI services that integrate with the Salesforce CRM

·      Easy access to CRM data

·      Insights delivered directly to front-line employees

·      Built-in recommendation engine

·      Built-in chatbot support


Open source framework with a huge community of users

·      Open source licensing

·      Broad compatibility

·      Extensive support

·      Easy model building

Wipro Holmes

Niche player with AI tools designed for very specific use cases and industries

·      Support for specific use cases

·      Strong automation capabilities

·      Consultants available

·      Solutions for particular vertical markets