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Sophisticated and Powerful Microservices: Algorithmia

The platform Algorithmia hosts a number of microservices functions through an interesting, free-to-use business model.

· Integration Zone

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By now we're all aware of the new frontier of Microservices. Some of them are very basic functional blocks for building cost-effective business applications in a timely fashion. But this interesting new group is providing a platform for some very interesting, one-step-removed-from-academia microservice functions. Not only are the individual services creative, interesting, and subtly powerful, but the business model is interesting too. It's easy to sign up, and yes it is free. It operates on a point system economy to pay for the services you use, and if you contribute algorithms you get paid in points, so you can use more of the services.

The platform is called Algorithmia and it already hosts a number of services. As you might expect it has some fairly straightforward and useful programming services:

  • Count Social Shares
    Retrieve the current Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest share counts

  • Html 2 Text
    Extract main text content from a URL

  • Url 2 Text
    Extract main text content from a URL

  • For Each
    An algorithm to run another algorithm on a list of inputs.

Those are some of the basic utilities. But then there are others that are a bit more intriguing:

  • Image Similarity
    Given two URLs that point to images, this algorithm outputs a similarity score between 0 and 1.

  • Gender Classification
    Classifies the gender of a person in a given image.

  • Eye Detection
    Uses a pretrained model to detect eyes in a given image.

... Or even this one ...

There are services based around Machine Learning:

And there are quite a few services that do various types of text analysis, but I won't list everything here. But I did run the third sentence from this article through the sentiment analysis service.

I input this sentence:

"But this interesting new group is providing a platform for some very interesting, one-step-removed-from academia microservice functions. I invite you to peruse their lists on their site."

And I immediately got the result:

"3" -- Out of a range of possible sentiment values between 0-4 (very negative, negative, neutral, positive, and very positive).

Many of the other services have active demo elements on the Algorithmia site, so you can play around with the services and look at some real results from your data. If you decide to author an algorithm and host it (free) on their site, they currently support submissions for Java, Scala, and Python. But they plan to continually add new languages so "stay tuned."

Also, (and I know you were wondering) as an author you retain ownership of your code. 

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Topics:
algorithm ,microservices ,academic research

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