Sure, you’ve heard of Infrastructure as a Service–think AWS–but what the heck is AI as a Service?

AI is becoming increasingly integrated into our lives, and entrepreneurs and developers are finding new creative ways to deploy their AI. This leads us to AI’s emergence as a purchasable service.

But what does it mean to buy an AI, and who is selling them? Keep reading to learn all about AI as a service, and what it means for our future.

The Basics of AI as a Service

These days, the smartphone OS environment is largely made up of iOS and Android. If OEM’s spent time creating their own operating systems, the smartphone market would look very different. Essentially, everybody likes teamwork.

Artificial intelligence can be thought of in a similar manner. Creating AI from the ground-up is an expensive and time-consuming process. If a company can adopt an already-built AI, time and money are saved.

AI as a service attempts to blend the human-computer work environment even further to increase productivity and unlock innovation. AI as a service is marketed as an efficient solution to problems a company is experiencing. These AI as a service companies are betting that their product outperforms the alternative of hiring an additional worker or two.

So What is Being Offered Then?

AI as a service is not necessarily a brand-new concept; voice assistant AI has been around for quite some time now. When you call your bank, you’re routed to an automated directory that allows you to make selections while “chatting” with a robot. These chatbots provide 24-hour “live service,” and allow workers to spend more time on non-routine issues.

Virtual assistants are only one form of AI as a service. For businesses lacking the resources or capital to build AI, they can turn to CrowdAI. This AI as a service provides machine learning technology to companies in need. CrowdAI specializes in AI for automated vehicles, drones, and satellite imagery, and their mission statement is found below:

Combine machine learning, computer vision, and human intelligence to maximize value for self-driving car, automated drone, and satellite image companies.

Providing a vision of the future, CrowdAI co-founder Nic Borensztein stated:

The world is moving towards automation, robotics, and on-demand services. The biggest barrier to getting there is creating the bridges that allow computers to interact with the world. There is an enormous expansion of the economy that’s going to come next.

However, CrowdAI is not the only player in providing AI. IBM’s Watson, the famed computer that dominated Jeopardy, also has a suite of service AI under its name:

  • Watson Virtual Agent
  • Watson Explorer
  • Watson Analytics
  • Watson Knowledge Studio

Built to understand, learn, reason, and interact, IBM is applying Watson to various focus areas such as IoT (Internet of Things). In the case of IoT, Watson’s machine learning capabilities allow it to connect and process data from a number of connected devices.

connected devices

The Full Experience

Another example of Watson being a service AI is within the healthcare industry. While we still need medical professionals to diagnosis and treat issues, service AI can help translate medical data even further so that medical decisions can be made more quickly.

AI as a service can even upgrade existing technology to include AI. Just ask the developers of Angus.AI. Angus has transformed the way retail cameras are used in stores.

Previously used to provide evidence for issues such as workplace abuse and theft, Angus.AI has enabled cameras in retail to keep track of customer demographics and customer habits. Although this may sound Orwellian, it’s a pretty nifty marketing tool.

If certain demographics of customers shop in specific areas of the store, Angus.AI would suggest a shift in merchandise layout to increase sales.


Just as Watson is using its AI suite to improve healthcare, Orbit.AI and are a partnership aiming to provide better healthcare by simplifying the process.

Thanks to Orbit.AI’s machine learning capabilities, patients and doctors waste less time communicating medical information already gathered by Orbit. Behind the scenes, works to improve the user experience doctors and patients have with Orbit.AI.

Thanks for reading!

Now you’ve been exposed to AI as a service, and we hope you enjoyed the ride. Want more from the Seamgen blog? We have you covered: