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Google today is announcing the launch of a new Oregon region for its Google Cloud Platform cloud infrastructure, along with a new Cloud Natural Language application programming interface (API) that will let developers integrate Google’s natural language understanding technology into third-party applications.

The Cloud Natural Language API, now in open beta, is available in English, Japanese, and Spanish. It will be capable of powering sentiment analysis, entity recognition, and syntax analysis, as Cloud Natural Language and Translate API product manager Apoorv Saxena, Cloud Speech API product manager Dan Aharon, and product manager Dave Stiver wrote in a blog post.

The new Oregon region, which will be listed under the label us-west1, will initially offer Google Compute Engine, Google Container Engine, and Google Cloud Storage services, wrote Saxena, Aharon, and Stiver.

“Our initial testing shows that users in cities such as Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles can expect to see a 30-80 percent reduction in latency for applications served from us-west1, compared to us-central1,” they wrote.

Oregon is the state Google selected when it decided to build its first data center in the 2000s. So it was no surprise to see Google declare earlier this year that Oregon is one of the 12 places where it would be opening new cloud regions.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the leading public cloud, maintains more data center regions than the Google cloud, hence Google’s expansion campaign. But natural language understanding represents a competitive opportunity for Google, which boasts multiple applications with more than 1 billion active users. So the search company has been exposing trained machine learning services for others to use. AWS is no slouch, and it will indeed be rolling out more machine learning services in the next few months, said CEO Andy Jassy recently.

Also today, Google said that its Cloud Speech API, announced in March, is now available in open beta.


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