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Amazon Web Services, Inc. has announced the general availability of Amazon Forecast, a fully managed service that uses machine learning to deliver highly accurate forecasts based on the same technology that powers Amazon.com.

Amazon uses forecasting to make sure that the right product is in the right place at the right time by predicting demand for hundreds of millions of products every day. Amazon Forecast uses this same technology to build precise forecasts for virtually any business condition, including product demand and sales, infrastructure requirements, energy needs, and staffing levels – with predictions that are up to 50% more accurate than traditional methods.

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 Amazon Forecast is easy to use and requires no machine learning experience. The service automatically provisions the necessary infrastructure, processes data, and builds custom, private machine learning models that are hosted on AWS and ready to make predictions. To get started with Amazon Forecast, visit https://aws.amazon.com/forecast/.

Using machine learning, Amazon Forecast automatically discovers how variables such as product features, seasonality, and store locations affect each other. These complex relationships can be difficult to spot using traditional forecasting methods, but Amazon Forecast uses the machine learning developed at Amazon to quickly recognise complex patterns to improve forecast accuracy. Amazon Forecast automatically sets up a data pipeline, ingests data, trains a model, provides accuracy metrics and performs forecasts. Developers do not need to have any expertise in machine learning to start using Amazon Forecast and can use the Amazon Forecast Application Programming Interface (API) or easy-to-use console to build custom machine learning models in less than five API calls or clicks. With Amazon Forecast, customers can achieve accuracy levels that used to take months of engineering in as little as a few hours.

Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president, Amazon Machine Learning, said: “We’ve built sophisticated, machine learning forecasting algorithms over many years that our customers can now use in Amazon Forecast without having to know anything about machine learning themselves. We can’t wait to see how our customers use the service to reduce operating expenses and inefficiencies, ensure higher resource and product availability, deliver products faster, and lower costs to delight their customers.”

Amazon Forecast is available today in US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Singapore), and EU (Ireland) with more availability zones coming soon.

The technology has been adopted by organisations including utility Puget Sound Energy, Accenture, OMotor and CJ Logistics.

 “At PSE, we’ve used Amazon Forecast to forecast electric and gas consumption at a typical residence. We found that even with a very limited set of historical consumption and weather data, Amazon Forecast performed very well at forecasting 30 days out with virtually no manual effort. With the increased emphasis on environmentally-friendly energy solutions, the ability to produce more accurate energy usage projections at each of our customers’ homes and businesses will be essential for energy service providers like PSE. With these enhanced analytical capabilities, PSE will be able to identify custom energy-saving programs and services, ultimately reducing customer bills,” said Paul Johnson, Sr. Cloud Architect at PSE.