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A hand is touching a phone. In the yellow background pops up a speech bubble. Copyright: iStock/Phira Phonruewiangphing

High Flexibility: “Artificial Intelligence as a Service”

Cloud services are a common way to make artificial intelligence more widely available. They offer flexibility, save time and money, and make AI use possible in the first place for many users.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is penetrating many aspects of life. The technology is fascinating. When you give it a task, the work is completed and returned within minutes. Both companies and private individuals are using specialized providers, whether you see them or not. They mostly develop the solution with the help of AI models operating in the cloud. The results are then delivered to the user.

AI offers flexible access: even by speech assistant, from the cloud.

“Artificial Intelligence as a Service” (AIaaS) is the common term for the process. It has changed the way artificial intelligence is used – it’s user-friendly and flexible. Some examples are voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. They seem to understand questions spoken to them. In reality, they recognize the patterns of words and convert them into a task that a computer can solve. Simple acts are performed right on the device, without a deeper AI connection, such as “Set the timer for 15 minutes for me.” More complex requests, such as “What will the weather be in San Francisco next week?” are whisked into the cloud via a data line. After the solutions are created in the cloud, they are sent back and delivered as audio output.

There are special services for companies that use cloud-supported AI. The possibilities vary widely, ranging from image recognition to machine learning, data analysis, and speech processing. A few examples from the business world: An online dealer generates product recommendations based on customer behavior with the help of AIaaS. Or a bank lets AI check to see whether financial transactions show evidence of fraud. Advanced analyses and forecasting by AI are helpful in both cases. Telephone hotlines can also be based on AIaaS and operate with the help of AI.

Flexibility from the Cloud 

“Cloud computing platforms are almost always the option because it takes a major technical effort to set up AI technologies on your own,” said Pascal Sütterlin, Digital Business Development at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. “Individuals or companies can benefit from the services as needed. They send over the tasks and then get the results back over the Internet in just a few seconds.”


Data security and data protection must be in place. That is the only way we can have full trust in the services.

Pascal Sütterlin, Digital Business Development, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies

AIaaS has several benefits. In many cases, the services are making the use of AI possible for a user in the first place. Companies, developers and private individuals are turning to artificial intelligence without creating and maintaining AI models themselves – which is very expensive. AIaaS thus saves time and money because there is a considerable amount of expertise built into the models. The software also requires extremely powerful computing centers. The requests don’t come in one by one – many thousands arrive at the same time, and the senders want them all to be processed as quickly as possible.

By app: communication between the customer, AI provider and systems.

There is another important feature of AIaaS: Customers are always using the latest AI. The providers are continually improving their AI models – at a fast pace. In many cases, they are using AI themselves. This allows them to keep up with the latest advances in machine learning. Another crucial aspect is flexibility. Customers tap into the AI services when they need to. AI is always available at the level required for their current data needs or for the number of inquiries to be processed. If their needs increase, they assign more tasks. The experts call this scalability.

Multiple AI Services on One Platform 

Consider Freudenberg Sealing Technologies: The company works with the cloud computing platform Azure. It offers numerous services, including AI. “We can very easily integrate the applications available via Azure into existing programs and platforms,” Sütterlin said, describing a key benefit.

Major advances have been made in generative artificial intelligence over the past few years. For example, OpenAI is active in the field and made a splash with ChatGPT a while ago. Its latest Large Language Model, called GPT-4, is available on Azure. In addition, Copilot contains an AI-supported assistant for a wide array of everyday tasks. “We are monitoring these possibilities very closely. AI can certainly enhance many processes. Test projects are already underway here,” Sütterlin said.

How can AI services be integrated into a company’s own applications or infrastructure? Most AlaaS platforms make so-called APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) available for this. These are software interfaces, that is, programmed pathways for communication among customers, AI providers, and systems. They allow companies to use AI solutions easily and conveniently and access AI functions.

Since cloud-based systems routinely handle sensitive content, experts always keep data privacy and security in mind. “When they are in place, we can put our complete trust in the services,” Sütterlin said. “That is the only way we can benefit fully from all the opportunities that artificial intelligence offers.”

This article originally appeared in ESSENTIAL, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies’ corporate magazine that covers trends, industries and new ideas. To read more stories like this, click here.

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