Google has drastically slashed the price of its cloud-based machine learning tool in response to Amazon Web Service’s highly-touted launch of a rival service.
The price cut is a signal of Google trying to protect its early lead in machine learning services for the cloud. Google’s ML Engine service is already designed to help developers and enterprises leverage machine learning by offering pre-built systems and automatic algorithm tuning.
But AWS’ launch of a machine learning offering called Sagemaker has put new pressure on Google. That has resulted in customers now being charged 43 percent less than before for Google’s basic tier compute service for training machine learning algorithms
Technology news website VentureBeat first reported the price cuts after finding a Google blog laying out the new prices that was later removed.
“The company has introduced massive price reductions for its Cloud Machine Learning Engine managed services. For example, customers using basic-tier compute for training a machine learning system will pay 43 percent less than they did earlier this year. Google also offered customers more clarity on what they’ll be paying for those jobs.
Information of the price reductions was first included in a blog post that appeared briefly yesterday on Google’s website, then vanished. A representative for the company declined to comment further on the news when reached for comment.”
Machine learning and artificial intelligence tools are increasingly becoming popular for developers in the cloud, but can still be difficult for enterprises to deploy. Google has been viewed as the cloud industry leader so far in the area, helping the company win high-profile contracts with companies.
But since its release in November, AWS’ Sagemaker has received a lot of industry buzz. AWS CEO Andy Jassy said Sagemaker is like “ no other solution out there that lets you do close to as easy as this.”
And several Wall Street analysts raised their price target for Amazon stock following the company’s re:Invent conference, where Sagemaker was launched. Wells Fargo analyst Analyst Ken Sena singled out AWS’ SageMaker as a “game-changer” for the AI and machine learning market.
“SageMaker allows one to build, train, validate, and deploy different models with incredible ease,” Sena wrote in his note. It “solves one of the biggest human demands in ML.”
Aside from AWS, Google is also facing competition in the machine learning space from Microsoft and Facebook, which are partnering on an open-source machine learning project.