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Difference Between AI as a Service and Artificial Intelligence

Anyone in the software industry must have a good or at least some understanding of cloud computing, which began as a mechanism to run virtual servers on someone else’s hardware – what is now commonly known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Since then, cloud computing has evolved into a much richer suite of on-demand computing services, from applications to storage, networking, databases, and processing power. Artificial Intelligence (AI) expands the use of cloud computing to add machine learning capabilities to cloud-based computing environments. The same as a service approach is applied to a relatively new field – AI as a Service, or AIaaS.

What is AI?

Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have long been fascinated with the idea of creating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and sought to create machines that could think and act like humans. The idea of AI is to make machines smarter than humans. Google hired Kurzweil to help turn this idea into reality. In 2011, they created an AI research group called Google Brain to idealize this vision.  Since then, Google has been actively involved in the AI landscape and acquired quite a few AI start-up companies along the way. Google is now a proud AI company. But what exactly is AI and how does it work? AI is giving machines the power to see, hear, learn, act and improve. AI is the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to do tasks that are normally done by humans.

What is the difference AI and intelligence?

AI is the most powerful technology available at our disposal today. It is the simulation of natural intelligence in machines – human like intelligence so that machines could behave and learn like humans do. The ‘Intelligence’ in AI refers to natural intelligence demonstrated by humans as in adaptive learning and experience. AI is to mimic that human intelligence in machines to ease our daily mundane workload. 

What are the 3 types of AI?

AI systems are characterized by their ability to mimic human intelligence. Based on these characteristics, AI can be categorized into three types – Narrow (or Weak) AI, General (or Strong) AI, and Artificial Superintelligence (ASI).

What is AI as a Service (AIaaS)?

AI as a Service (or AIaaS) refers to the outsourcing of out-of-the-box AI solutions or tools to companies as a service, allowing them to effectively put these services into production and manage their operation. AIaaS is ready-made AI tools offered by third party vendors through off-the-shelf solutions to companies that are looking to implement AI solutions to their operations but without having to invest in expensive infrastructure or worrying about new hires. These so-called AI solutions expose AI to a wider range of businesses, including small businesses. Companies willing to invest in new digital technologies can now leverage the power of AI to create smarter products, intelligent services and enhanced business processes, without spending a huge sum. Yet, AI solutions are not meant for every business out there.

Is AI a product or a service?

AI as a product is the new SaaS of Software used in a wide array of products such as self-driving cars, industrial robots, smart assistants, chat tool, conversational marketing bot, and more. AI as a Service (AIaaS), like we’ve already discussed, refers to the outsourcing of AI tools to companies for research or experimentation purposes. So, AI is both a product and a service.

Difference between AIaaS and AI

Definition of AIaaS and AI

 – AI is the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to do tasks that are typically done by humans. AI is the demonstration of human-like intelligence in machines or anything that is controlled by a computer, allowing them to perform tasks with little or no human intervention. AIaaS, on the other hand, is a third-party offering of AI solutions and tools in order to expose AI to a wider range of businesses looking for new opportunities in the digital space.

Product/Service of AIaaS and AI

 – AI is both a product and a service that largely makes use of the algorithms based on a set of pre-defined rules that a computer can follow to accomplish tasks and solve problems. AI is a collection of methods, tools and concepts to make machines smarter and autonomous. AIaaS, on the other hand, is an off-the-shelf AI service where you tap into third-party AI tools and technologies without having to invest a heavy sum in setting up a new infrastructure. 

Usability of AIaaS and AI

– AI have transformed the way businesses interact with their customers by offering more intelligent products and services, and automating most business processes. AI has made significant strides across all major sectors, including healthcare, finance, gaming, entertainment, social media, travel & transport, ecommerce, automotive, etc. AIaaS is ready right out of the box, providing off-the-shelf AI solutions for businesses looking to automate their business, create smarter products, and better understand their target audience.

AIaaS vs. AI: Comparison Chart

Summary of the difference between AIaaS and AI

AI is a technology that is used across a wide array of applications including self driving cars, speech recognition, natural language processing, music composition, chatbots, virtual assistants, industrial automation, human resource management, cybersecurity and so on. AI is everywhere around us. AIaaS, on the other hand, is a new out-of-the-box AI technology offering, where third party vendors loan ready-made AI tools to companies looking to tap into the AI landscape but without having to invest in expensive infrastructure for the same. Simply put, if AI is a product, then AIaaS is a service that helps companies make the most out of AI tools.

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References :


[0]Marr, Bernard. The Intelligence Revolution: Transforming Your Business with AI. London, United Kingdom: Kogan Page Publishers, 2020. Print

[1]Mitchell, Melanie. Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans. New York, United States: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019. Print

[2]Marr, Bernard. Artificial Intelligence in Practice: How 50 Successful Companies Used AI and Machine Learning to Solve Problems. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons, 2019. Print

[3]Elger, Peter and Eoin Shanaghy. AI as a Service: Serverless Machine Learning with AWS. New York, United States: Simon and Schuster, 2020. Print

[4]Image credit: https://www.techiexpert.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/AIaaS.jpg

[5]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Artificial_Intelligence,_AI.jpg

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