Top AI Software | eWEEK – eWeek

AI software falls into several core areas, including machine learning (ML), deep learning, predictive analytics, machine vision, robotic process automation (RPA), smart assistants and chatbots.
Clearly, today’s best artificial intelligence software is driving change: hardly a day goes by without artificial intelligence (AI) software introducing new and improved capabilities. As features appear and use cases expand, organizations turn to AI applications to gain competitive advantage.
AI software capabilities typically fall into several core areas: machine learning (ML), deep learning, predictive analytics, machine vision, robotic process automation (RPA), smart assistants and chatbots.
With the current focus on digital transformation, systems are changing everything from business forecasting and supply chain automation to marketing/sales and customer support. They’re ushering in smarter business and IT frameworks that can act and react to events in more agile and flexible ways. They can also make work safer for employees during the current pandemic.
It’s a field worth focusing on. According to an August 2020 report from online research site Statistica, the global artificial intelligence (AI) software market is projected to grow 54% year-to-year from 2019 to 2025, reaching a forecast size of  $22.6 billion.
The same report notes that while many are concerned about the possible negative impact of AI—including potential layoffs and disruption in the workplace—the net effect of the technology will likely be positive for economic growth. Statistica estimates that AI software will contribute to a 14.5% boost in GDP in North America and 26.1% in China by 2025.
Of course, sorting through options and vendors can be daunting. What’s more, software offerings are advancing and changing rapidly. As a result, business and IT leaders should focus on solutions that not only unlock process improvements and cost savings, but also fuel innovation and disruption.
Here are 20 leading software providers in the AI software space, including major cloud providers that support a variety of AI functions and features, along with more specialized providers that address AI in different ways.
Clearly, AI software is a mixed bunch; given the various focus, we’ve divided the list into three core areas:
These cloud vendors offer products and solutions that span multiple AI categories. In some cases, they provide a one-stop shop for AI software.
The vendor’s cloud-based AI offerings span a number of areas, including machine learning, machine translation, image search, predictive analytics and a recently added intelligent speech interaction engine. The latter combines multiple AI technologies to deliver a more natural human-computer interaction experience in seven languages, including English, Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin and French. The platform includes a robust SDK and API framework.
AWS, the undisputed leader in cloud computing, offers an array of ML, DL and analytics solutions for organizations across various industries. The list includes AWS Deep Learning AMIs, Amazon QuickSight and Amazon SageMaker, which builds, trains and deploys machine learning models at scale. AWS also offers tools for speech and text, such as Lex (for Alexa); Polly, a text to speech tool; and Rekognition, which handles image/video recognition and classification.
The cloud provider places a heavy focus on AI through a variety of products and tools. It provides an AI development platform, facial recognition and other types of machine vision and image review, speech technologies, optical character recognition (OCR) and text capabilities, language processing. The vendor also delivers a variety of other AI capabilities for auto-scaling, object storage, intelligent edge management and handling cloud container engines throughout their lifecycle.
Not surprisingly, AI is at a primary focus for Google. The company offers numerous AI and machine learning products, including Vertex AI, a unified machine learning platform for building, deploying and scaling AI models. In addition, there are conversational AI tools that handle speech-to-text (and vice versa), virtual agents, natural language processing, document automation and machine vision tools. Google supports TensorFlow, a sophisticated end-to-end machine learning software platform.
Big Blue is among the leaders in AI with its portfolio of highly scalable Watson AI solutions. This includes products specifically designed for building AI models and machine learning, customer service/chatbots, business automation, natural language processing and other areas. The vendor has solutions that are designed to meet the needs of specific industries and groups, including healthcare, financial operations, risk and compliance, advertising, supply chain, security and IT operations.
Through its Azure cloud platform, Microsoft delivers a variety of AI tools and solutions that cover ML, DL and analytics. Among its offerings: Azure Machine Learning, which helps data scientists and developers build, train and deploy ML at scale; and Azure Databricks, which uses Apache Spark to support big data analytics and AI. There’s also speech assistant Cortana and chatbot tools.
These AI software companies offer solutions that transform data into intelligence and insights.
The company’s Experience Cloud has emerged as a leading platform for advanced analytics and AI. It is designed to deliver real-time personalization through various tools, including machine learning and AI-driven chat functionality. In addition, Adobe’s Sensei helps organizations build, manage and operationalize AI across the customer journey. The product is designed primarily for marketers and data science teams.
The analytics vendor offers a robust machine learning platform that allows domain experts and data scientists to put data to work in new and innovative ways. Automated Insight Generation finds hidden signals and key relationships in data. The firm’s Deep Feature Synthesis uses popular algorithms like xgBoost, LightGBM, and ElasticNet to detect patterns and insights through explainable machine learning models.
The vendor taps AI and ML to automate business analysis functions. It focuses on putting data to work across teams. The platform supports conversational search, natural language insights, presentation-ready decks with advanced visualizations, and sophisticated ad-hoc querying from any device. The vendor also offers solutions specifically designed for functions such as marketing, sales, finance, data science, supply chain and general analytics.
With an open-source end-to-end platform that supports AI across an enterprise, the vendor focuses on predictive analytics use cases in financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, marketing, telecom and more. This includes fraud detection, customer-churn prediction, credit risk scoring, improving clinical workflows and medical testing, predictive fleet maintenance and supply chain optimization.
With a long history in databases and data management, Oracle is among the leaders in AI driven data insights. Among its cloud-based data science, ML and AI services: advanced anomaly detection that’s designed to identify critical criteria and advanced text analysis capabilities that that can detect sentiment, key phrases and other highly specific criteria. In-database ML allows users to run SQL, R and Python learning models.
The CRM provider offers cloud-based AI capabilities within its Einstein AI solution. It delivers smart assistant tools that classify tasks and deliver next best actions, automate processes and puts smart bots to work. These agents can generate recommendations, replies and deliver relevant chat systems. They also can personalize content and information to match the specific needs of customers and others.  In addition, the platform supports IoT and other edge functionality.
The long-time leader in data mining and analytics offers SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning, which uses a unique automated modeling API to solve complex problems. The product can spot patterns, trends and other insights across various ML models. It includes natural language generation to product summaries and reports. The platform supports open-source algorithms and source code. It’s designed for both business analysts and data scientists.
These vendors specialize in solutions and software that help organizations unlock greater efficiencies through improved business operations, robotic process automation, supply chain automation and more.
The robotic process automation vendor is a Gartner “Leader” in the intelligent automaton ecosystem space. Through a cloud-native web-based framework, it delivers an array of sophisticated tools and capabilities, including discovery bots that fast-track automation, IQ bots that find and transform unstructured data into intelligence, and bot insight functionality that delivers real-time robotic process automation and analytics.
While the semiconductor giant is known for processors that run computers, Intel is also among the leaders in advanced AI software functionality. The firm offers AI developer tools and resources, including Intel AI Software Suite, which supports a wide array of popular frameworks and libraries in deep learning, machine learning, and TensorFlow, PyTorch, scikit-learn and other big data analytics platforms. It includes the Intel oneAPI AI Analytics Toolkit, Intel distribution of the open-source deep learning inference OpenVINO toolkit and Analytics Zoo, which scales AI models.
The vendor delivers an AI-based communications platform that taps custom bots, apps and other automation to deliver sophisticated conversational chatbots for sales and customer support functions. The platform integrates with more than 300 other applications, including Salesforce, Slack, Stripe, Google Analytics, HubSpot, Twitter and Zendesk. Intercom also has solutions available for organizations in the finance, healthcare, education and e-commerce spaces.
As a leader in advanced AI solutions, NVIDIA offers AI Enterprise, an end-to-end cloud-native platform for running and scaling AI workloads in hybrid clouds. It includes support for distributed deep learning training and various other machine learning models, edge AI inference, data analytics and other AI models. The platform accommodates a wide array of functions and capabilities with near bare-metal performance.
The enterprise applications giant supports an intelligent enterprise through prebuilt AI cloud applications that distribute a wide array of capabilities and services. For instance, SAP HANA can access, store and process AI lifecycle data from any source, while SAP’s Business Technology Platform supports AI-driven data orchestration through an open-source framework. This makes it possible to build a variety of tools including robotic process automation, chatbots and advanced machine learning programs and models.
The widely adopted open-source platform is designed to aid in the development and training of machine learning models. It includes a diverse ecosystem of tools, libraries and community resources that help developers and data scientists construct a wide variety of applications, including mobile and IoT tools. TensorFlow offers various pre-built models and datasets from Google, Kaggle and others. It has a variety of AI partners, including LabelBox, SpringML, Paperspace, Quantiphi and Stradigi.
The vendor’s Support Suite delivers a highly automated AI-based platform that fuels sales and support functions across multiple channels. It includes automated conversational AI chatbots and machine learning features that streamline and coordinate connection points and messaging across email, social media, and voice interactions. The Zendesk platform now supports more than 40 languages and delivers an assortment of products for small, medium and large enterprise.

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