Amazon is spending $100 million to teach cloud customers about AI: Report
The company is looking for ways to sell more services and compete with Microsoft and Google in generative artificial intelligence.
Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud unit is building a program to help customers develop and deploy new kinds of artificial intelligence products as the biggest seller of cloud services tries to match Microsoft and Google in the market for so-called generative AI.
Amazon Web Services is investing $100 million to set up the AWS Generative AI Innovation Center, which will link customers with company experts in AI and machine learning. They’ll help a range of clients in health care, financial services and manufacturing build customized applications using the new technology. Highspot Inc. and Twilio Inc., which sell sales and marketing software, will be early users of the innovation center, Amazon said.
The goal is to help sell more cloud services, convincing clients to turn to AWS as they build new generative AI applications rather than Microsoft Corp.’s Azure, which has seized an early lead owing to its partnership with ChatGPT maker OpenAI, or Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which pioneered much of the early technology underpinning this new frontier.
Amazon unveiled its own generative AI tools earlier this year, but longtime employees and customers deemed the announcement uncharacteristically vague, Bloomberg reported in May. One customer who tested the tools awarded the technology an “incomplete” grade, while people familiar with AWS product launches wondered if Amazon released the AI tools to counter perceptions it has fallen behind Microsoft and Google. Amazon has denied its generative AI tools were rushed or incomplete and said the technology is ready for customers to test and provide feedback.
“It’s a technology that has captured almost every companies’ imagination, and it’s a technology where many companies don’t have an expertise — they are sure they want do to something but they are not really sure how or why or what,” said Matt Garman, an AWS senior vice president for sales and marketing. “We want to help them make this real.”
With the viral releases of OpenAI’s Dall-E image-generation software and the ChatGPT chatbot over the past year, companies are rushing to incorporate the technology into their products and services, and the cloud giants are positioning themselves to cash in. Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mandeep Singh estimates the market for generative AI, in which AI models analyze volumes of data and use it to generate new images, texts, audio and video, could grow by 42% to reach $1.3 trillion by 2032.
AWS Chief Executive Officer Adam Selipsky will discuss the new innovation center at Bloomberg’s technology conference in San Francisco today.