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Data & Intelligence

The Tensorflow Weakness is a Gluon Strength

On October 12, 2017, Gluon became available to the public. Microsoft’s partnership with Amazon finally has a chance to outshine Google with its great TensorFlow.

Gluon is a deep learning multiplatform tool which currently utilizes Apache MXNet and soon will work on Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK) as well as other platforms to come shortly after.

This is not the first time Microsoft and Amazon worked together in AI space. On August 2017, they announced that Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa would be able to communicate across a range of tasks, and users will be able to open Cortana through Alexa and vice versa.

Shortly after partnering on the virtual assistant endeavor, Microsoft and Amazon decided to get together and create a deep learning platform that can capitalize on Google’s TensorFlow weaknesses such as the complexity of coding, slow training performance, and manual construction of the neural network definition.

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TensorFlow was created mostly for developers in mind where Gluon is for researchers and anyone who is passionate about using deep learning platform with minimal training.

Here are some of the advantages of Gluon:

  • Concise – easy-to-understand programming interface
  • Dynamic graphs – with Gluon developers can create neural network models on the fly, with any structure and use any of Python’s native control flow
  • High performance – the training method has minimal impact on the speed of the underlying engine
  • Flexible, imperative structure – Gluon does not require the neural network model to be rigidly defined. Developers can perform model training one step at a time because the Gluon interface brings together the training algorithm and the neural network model. It is much easier to debug, update and reuse neural networks
  • Prebuild template – Gluon can use the deep learning templates developed by Microsoft and Amazon


Even though the Gluon is an impressive tool with the bright future, TensorFlow still dominates the market which makes it the leader in the AI framework and the fifth-most-popular project (by stars) on GitHub.  However, Gluon has many competitive advantages as well as the backing from tech giants (Microsoft, Amazon), so it has a potential to take over this space in the coming years.

In my next Blog, I will deep-dive on Gluon’s framework. Ask me for more!!!

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