Things sure seem to have taken a turn for the interesting. Walmart, the reigning retail juggernaut, is set to enlist the help of NVIDIA, as it looks to bolsters its own AI capabilities.
All this, as it takes the fight to Amazon.
Tensions between Walmart, a longtime customer of AWS, have risen these past couple of months, as the retailer has made a decision to break ties with Amazon Web Services and bring its data in-house, rather than enriching its immediate competitor.
This move to deep learning comes at a time when Amazon has made an enormous amount of investments in this disciple of artificial intelligence. The company has made major advances in the fields of image processing, voice recognition, and natural language processing.
And now, Walmart is ready to push into this domain.
Word is that the retail giant is building huge datacenters to house its cloud computing and deep learning technologies. The company is building a GPU farm, using graphics processing units from NVIDIA — in particular the Tesla V100.
This cloud platform is supposed to be about a tenth the size of the massive cloud operations that Amazon is currently running, which is not only technically very impressive but will most certainly cost a pretty penny!
News of the Walmart Cloud should come as no surprise to those watching the company.
Walmart has made several moves recently to increase its digital presence, including acquisitions in the online space, like Jet.com, Modcloth, and Bonobos.
Hosting its own cloud brimming with deep learning will allow Walmart to benefit from its customer data, without sharing it with the very competitor it is trying to overcome. At the very least, leveraging all this will put Walmart in a much better position to compete with Amazon in the digital realm.
It may still be playing catch up with its formidable foe, but Walmart is entering the party big time!