Has Amazon Lost The AI Race? How Amazon AWS AI is Propelling the Future of AI Development?
Has Amazon Lost The AI Race?
Amazon Web Services has recently revealed that it will be launching a 10-week program called the AWS Generative AI Accelerator. This initiative aims to accelerate the development of its Artificial Intelligence (AI) efforts. Through this program, participants will have access to AI resources, receive mentorship, and be provided with $300,000 worth of AWS credits.
The program is not a desperate attempt for relevance, as some experts may suggest. Rather, it is a strategic move for AWS to remain competitive in the market. AI-powered digital assistants such as Alexa, Siri, and Assistant are no longer new to the market, and the technology has already become a standard feature for many households.
By providing developers with access to AI resources, mentorship, and AWS credits, AWS is hoping to push the boundaries of AI technology further and develop new applications that can provide value to businesses and consumers alike.
Loss of Competitive Edge:
The launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT has propelled the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into overdrive in recent months. Despite being a well-known technology brand, Amazon appears to have fallen behind the curve. While Alexa, its voice-activated assistant, was one of the first experiences many people had with natural language-capable AI, the company seems to have lost its edge in the field.
According to industry experts, Amazon’s true strength lies in its suite of AWS applications that power a significant portion of the internet. Anish Mitra, former Vice President of Growth at Goldman Sachs, stated that “instead of digging for gold, Amazon is in the business of selling shovels.” He added that Amazon realizes that any successful AI-based business requires substantial computing power.
Alexa has fallen short of Amazon’s goal of creating the next big platform in tech. Even onetime believers in the technology say innovation has stalled on Alexa, a sentiment that has grown since ChatGPT set the tech world ablaze when it came out in Nov 2022
— Srinivasan G (@srinicaps) March 23, 2023
While the company may not have introduced applications for end consumers like Google (with Bard) and Microsoft (which has invested in and integrated OpenAI APIs), it will undoubtedly integrate more AI into its solutions, according to Mitra.
Mitra went on to say that Alexa has become essential in people’s lives, capturing 60% of the market. He believes that it is crucial for Amazon to continue improving it, particularly since advanced AI tools are not yet widely used by everyday consumers. Currently, AI usage is mostly limited to the top 5-10% of white-collar professionals. However, Mitra believes that this could change over time.
Amazon’s AI Investments:
Amazon has made significant investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI), particularly with its AWS cloud computing platform, which offers a range of AI and machine learning services to businesses. Amazon also uses AI in its e-commerce business, including recommendation engines, inventory management, and logistics.
According to Tiago Amaral, founder of the A.I. education company Inevitable, Amazon will continue to invest in user-friendly platforms that allow developers to build and train increasingly refined and specific AI models. This will unlock billions of dollars in value over the next decade. Amaral cited AWS’s recent partnership with the A.I. company Hugging Face, which aims to make the development of machine learning models much more accessible and easier.
One of Amazon’s earliest AI-related acquisitions was Alexa in 2013. Amazon also acquired deep learning startup Orbeus in 2015, cybersecurity AI startup Harvest.ai in 2017, and robotics startup Canvas Technology in 2019. In 1999, Amazon also acquired a separate web traffic analysis company called Alexa Internet, which was discontinued in 2022.
As per Amaral, Amazon’s strength lies in becoming a platform, which is what it does best.
How Amazon AWS AI is Propelling the Future of AI Development?
The Amazon accelerator program is intended to support early-stage technology startups by providing them with resources, mentorship, networking opportunities, and sometimes funding to help them grow and scale their businesses quickly. According to Rob Ferguson, Global Head of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Startups at AWS, the program is open to generative A.I. startups worldwide.
We are excited to announce the AWS Generative AI Accelerator! 🚀🤖
This 10-week program is designed to help early-stage startups using Generative AI solve big challenges to scale and grow.
Learn more about the program & apply here: https://t.co/Vyw0yPVnq0 pic.twitter.com/oGuQUQLrwG
— AWS Startups (@AWSstartups) April 4, 2023
Ferguson stated that the applications would be evaluated based on target market, founder/market fit, depth of machine learning native product integrations, and team composition as it relates to diversity and technical/non-technical leadership. Ten startups will be selected to participate in the program, and industry experts will serve as mentors who will guide them through the intricacies of generative A.I. development.
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