Cloudflare adds AI services as CTO says “a developer platform without AI” is little use

Cloudflare adds AI services as CTO says “a developer platform without AI” is little use

Cloudflare has introduced new services at its Developer Week now under way, including Constellation, which enables running inference tasks using pre-trained models in Cloudflare Worker scripts, and Cursor, an “experimental AI assistant” that is initially aimed at chat-powered documentation for the platform itself, and is intended to be able to write code in future.

Constellation is in private beta and currently supports only the ONNX (Open Neural Network Exchange) runtime though others will be added, with XGBoost apparently “in the final stages of testing”. Models have to be compatible with the runtime, so currently this must be a .onnx file. During the beta, models must be smaller than 10MB. Example uses are for image classification, object or anomaly detection, text translation, summaries, similarity analysis, speech recognition, and sentiment analysis. It looks as if Cloudflare has in mind lightweight AI tasks. This is not a platform for supercomputing or GPU-intensive processing.

The advantage of Constellation though is integration with the Cloudflare stack. An example receives emails, adds sentiment analysis, and then forwards the emails. “You might want to move all the angry emails outside your Inbox,” the team suggests.

Cursor is powered by OpenAI and in its initial form is a documentation assistant. The company warns: “Cursor is an experimental AI preview, meaning that the answers provided are often incorrect, incomplete, or lacking in context.” However, what Cloudflare has in mind is “a UI to have an AI generate code and developers then link that code together visually, whether that’s with other code generated by the AI or code they’ve written themselves.” As far as we can tell, Cloudflare’s Cursor has nothing to do with the existing Cursor AI editor from another company, though both draw on OpenAi.

While Cloudflare is best known as a CDN (Content Delivery Network), it has introduced a wide range of services including S3-compatible object storage, called R2; a key-value database called Workers KV; and Cloudflare Workers, a serverless platform for deploying web functions and applications. There is an obvious synergy between the CDN and these other services, which both use a global network that enables code to run near to the end user.

The company claims “over one million developers” are building on its platform, and according to Cloudflare CTO John Graham-Cumming, “A developer platform without AI isn’t going to be much use. It’ll be a bit like a developer platform that can’t do floating point arithmetic, or handle a list of data.”

Also introduced at the Developer Week are database integrations with Neon, PlanetScale and Supabase, for use with Cloudflare Workers. Neon and Supeabase are PostgreSQL-based, while PlanetScale is MySQL-compatible. The company is also working on its own serverless SQL database, currently called D1, based on the open source SQLite.

A new Workers API enables developers to create outbound TCP sockets, which the company states makes it “possible to connect directly to any TCP-based service.” In preparation is support for inbound TCP, UDP and QUIC connections. Custom certificates for TLS (Transport Layer Security) are also planned.