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Artificial Intelligence: Microsoft and Facebook Unified AI Frameworks

Friday, September 8th, 2017 | Gadgets

Microsoft and Facebook have announced the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) project as a common policy. Under this name, an interface is developed that should allow uniform access to AI frameworks and machine learning infrastructure. According to Facebook, ONNX is "the first step towards an ecosystem where AI developers can easily choose between different tools that are most appropriate for their purpose."

Microsoft emphasizes that existing AI frameworks such as Caffe2 and Pytorch will support ONNX. The project should allow these frameworks to work in parallel on the same process. This is important because each existing framework specializes in one task. Some support flexible network architectures while others are optimized for the fast training of machine learning models.
Uniform standard for hardware manufacturers
An advantage should also be that hardware manufacturers, instead of designing their components on many different frameworks, must optimize their products only on ONNX. Similar to common programming languages ​​such as C ++ or Java, ONNX will have standard data types and ready-made operators for creating AI projects.

The cooperation between Facebook and Microsoft does not mean that the companies exchange their data among themselves. This would compromise the privacy of the customers, but at the same time will result in better machine-learning models, thanks to more information.
The first version of the ONNX code and documentation is open source. On the developer portal Github he can be seen. Facebook has already made the first versions of Caffe2 and Pytorch compatible with ONNX, while Microsoft is delivering its support for the Cognitive Toolkit later. It is also planned to publish examples and references for developers.


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