Algorithmia Blog - Deploying AI at scale

Learn how to leverage powerful algorithms with Algorithmia and General Assembly Seattle


We’ve teamed up with General Assembly to produce a free, two-hour workshop designed to help web developers build brilliant apps using Algorithmia’s powerful platform. 

You’ll learn how to gain access to world class algorithms in five lines of code or less, allowing you to recognize patterns in your data, extract visual knowledge, understand audio, classify unstructured data, and derive meaning from language

If you’re in the Seattle area, and have an interest in giving your app super powers, then join us Wednesday, October 14 at 6:30pm! A basic understanding of APIs, and some Python or JS knowledge is required.

About This Workshop:

RSVP here. 

Wednesday, October 14
6:30 – 8:30 pm PDT

WeWork Seattle
500 Yale Avenue N
Seattle , WA 98109

Who’s Who: Facial Recognition Made Simple

Using machine learning from Algorithmia to train a model to recognize faces


Name That Actor is a minimal demo from Algorithmia to show how anyone can use a classic face recognition algorithm. In the box below, enter the URL to a photo of one of the actors from the TV show “Parks and Recreation” or click on one of the example images, which were not used in training the facial recognizer model. The algorithm will run the image input against the model to predict the name of the actor.

This demo is out-of-date. Please See instead.

How we made it

Because Parks and Rec is a celebrated show (for good reason–we hope you agree!), we decided to use the main cast as the recognition model for the algorithm. To train the model, we used the Train Face Recognizer algorithm with a collection of images of the actors. 

We started by downloading 10 photos from Google Images of each actor playing the main characters:

  • Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope
  • Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson
  • Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer
  • Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford
  • Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate
  • Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt
  • Rashida Jones as Ann Perkins
  • Retta as Donna Meagle
  • Jim O’Heir as Jerry Gergich (or Garry or Larry or…)

Using the Algorithmia API, we uploaded all the images to a data collection. Then we ran the Train Face Recognizer algorithm against the collection, providing the actor’s name for each photo, to train the model against the collection as a dataset. To analyze new images, we call the Recognize Faces algorithm which uses the trained model to predict the name of the actor.

Note: Our method for detecting and recognizing faces works best for frontal face images. Faces at a profile are harder to detect and recognize with the same level of accuracy. It also helps when the faces are reasonably large relative to the size of the image, a modest 1/64 of the size of the image in pixels. Read more about face recognition using Algorithmia here.

Build intelligent serverless apps in minutes with Algorithmia and AWS Lambda


Algorithmia’s is pleased to announce a new, built-in AWS Lambda Node.js blueprint, making it easy to call the Algorithmia API in response to events from Amazon Kinesis, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon S3, and other Amazon web services.

With Algorithmia you have access to the largest marketplace of algorithms in the world in less than five lines of code. Leverage state-of-the-art algorithms to recognize patterns in data, extract visual knowledge, understand audio, classify unstructured data, and derive meaning from language.

AWS Lambda is a service that lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers, making it easy to build applications that respond quickly to new information. Lambda manages the resources for you automatically.

Read the full documentation, including auth and code samples here.

Together, Algorithmia and Lambda make it easy to rapidly build and deploy serverless solutions in minutes. For example, you could combine several algorithms from Algorithmia to:

  • Automatically generate smart thumbnails (using face detection to ensure every thumbnail is perfectly cropped)
  • Take advantage of Algorithmia’s speech-to-text algorithm to transcribe videos uploaded to S3 on the fly
  • You could even leverage a predictive model every time DynamoDB updates

How to Get Started with Algorithmia + AWS Lambda:

  1. Navigate to the AWS Lambda console
  2. Select Create a Lambda function
  3. Type Algorithmia into the filter
  4. Select the Algorithmia blueprint
  5. Setup Auth in your Lambda function using the below guide
  6. Specify your algorithm and input data

Complete documentation here.

Still curious?

Getting Started with the Algorithmia Command Line Interface (CLI)

These instructions are out-of-date. Please See instead.


Algorithmia has released a command line interface (CLI)! This new, cross-platform tool allows you to use the command line to call more than 1,600 algorithms from the Algorithmia API.

The official docs can be found in the README on GitHub, but we’ll do a quick walkthrough to get you up and running.


Setting up the Algorithmia CLI is easy.


Download and extract the OSX tarball with this cURL command:

$ curl -L | tar -xz

We recommend putting it within your PATH with the following:

$ sudo mv algo /usr/local/bin/

Windows (64-bit)

First, install OpenSSL for Windows.

Next, download and extract the Windows zip file. We recommend putting it within your PATH.

Looking for instructions for Debian/Ubuntu or Arch installs? Find them on the official README.

Configure the CLI:

Before we can start making calls to the APIs, first we need configure our authentication. Run the command:

$ algo auth

You’ll be prompted to input your API key for a default profile. If you’d like to create more than one profile, simply run algo auth [<profile>] for the same interactive prompt. For more information, see the auth command help with algo auth --help.

Check that your profile is configured by running algo ls.


Now that we’re set up, let’s try executing some algorithms! We’re going to start with something simple, the Factor algorithm that takes in integer and returns its prime factors. You can find the details about this algorithm on the description page.

$ algo run kenny/factor -d 19635

Here we see the basic syntax: algo run, followed by the algorithm’s username and algorithm name (kenny/factor), the data options, and finally the input. The response we got back was just the result of the algorithm, but we can also add the option --response-body to see the full JSON response:

$ algo run kenny/factor -d 19635 --response-body

Run algo run --help to see more command options, including the data input and output options.

The Algorithmia CLI is also great for interacting with the Algorithmia API. You can use the CLI to create and manage your data directories. Let’s say you want to create a new data directory and upload some files-it’s easy with the CLI.

First, create a new data directory:

$ algo mkdir .my/favoritepics

Created directory data://.my/favoritepics

Copy a file from your local directory to the new data directory:

$ algo cp puppies.png data://.my/favoritepics

Uploaded data://.my/favoritepics/puppies.png

When you’ve finished uploading, check that everything you expect is in your data directory:

$ algo ls .my/favoritepics

puppies.png kittens.jpg baby_turtles.jpg


Algorithmia CLI use of opencv/SmartThumbnail


Run algo --help for additional usage information and to learn about other command options. Be sure to check out the official README for even more detailed instructions on using the Algorithmia CLI and new release updates!

We’ve been invited to present at AWS re:Invent!


Algorithmia is excited to announce that we’ve been selected to present at AWS re:Invent 2015 in Las Vegas on Tuesday, October 6th!

Our founders Diego Oppenheimer and Kenny Daniel will be presenting a solution for building and deploying serverless applications using Algorithmia and AWS Lambda during the breakout session Building Tomorrow’s Applications: Serverless Solutions in the Cloud.

“The combination of AWS’s limitless infrastructure, and Algorithmia’s algorithmic intelligence, allows developers from around the globe to build tomorrow’s smart applications today,” Oppenheimer said.

Sign-up for Algorithmia today, and receive 10,000 free credits to get you started building brilliant apps. 

If you’re in Las Vegas, please join us on Tuesday, October 6th at 2:45 PM in Lido 3001B. This event is free and open to APN members. Check out the complete AWS re:Invent schedule here.

We’ll be sharing a detailed blog post from the presentation, including a video demo, code samples, and a how-to guide for creating your own serverless apps using Algorithmia and Lambda.

Watch the AWS re:Invent 2014 Day 1 Keynote with Andy Jassy:

And, Day 2 Keynote with Werner Vogels:

About Algorithmia:

Build brilliant apps with Algorithmia, the largest marketplace for algorithms in the world. We help application developers solve complex problems with ease and efficiency by making algorithmic intelligence approachable and accessible in less than 5-lines of code.

Algorithmia unlocks the building blocks of human understanding, helping you make every app a smart app. Use Algorithmia to recognize patterns in your data, extract visual knowledge, understand audio, classify unstructured data, and derive meaning from language. Focus on what matters most, and let Algorithmia take care of the rest


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