AWS Generative AI

Amazon Invests $100M in AWS Generative AI Innovation Center

Amazon Web Services is pouring $100 million into a new generative AI program aimed at bringing AI and machine learning tools to enterprise clients. The Generative AI Innovation Center is set to connect AI experts at AWS with customers interested in learning how to apply generative AI to their business models.

Generative AWS

Amazon described the Generative AI Innovation Center as a hub for AWS customers to attend “no cost workshops, engagements, and training” on generative AI and work with people intimately involved with the technology to come up with customized services. In other words, AWS customers with non-technical businesses may be really excited about generative AI, but they don’t know what it can do and are unsure how to incorporate it.

AWS envisions the Innovation Center helping companies develop ideas built around Bedrock’s toolset. Amazon suggested a very broad scope of industries, from financial planners personalizing investment advice to manufacturers updating designs with AI help and medical researchers performing drug research with AI assistance. The Innovation Center’s initial partners include sales software developer Highspot, travel guide publisher and tourism organizer Lonely Planet, and customer service platform Twilio. Though the Innovation Center seems geared toward established businesses, Amazon also has an eye on younger startups via its generative AI accelerator.

“Amazon has more than 25 years of AI experience, and more than 100,000 customers have used AWS AI and ML services to address some of their biggest opportunities and challenges. Now, customers around the globe are hungry for guidance about how to get started quickly and securely with generative AI,” AWS senior vice president Matt Garman said. “The Generative AI Innovation Center is part of our goal to help every organization leverage AI by providing flexible and cost-effective generative AI services for the enterprise, alongside our team of generative AI experts to take advantage of all this new technology has to offer. Together with our global community of partners, we’re working with business leaders across every industry to help them maximize the impact of generative AI in their organizations, creating value for their customers, employees, and bottom line.”

AWS is specifically planning to bring the Amazon Bedrock portfolio of generative AI tools to bear on the projects. Bedrock offers multiple foundation models to build on, such as AI21’s Jurassic-2, Anthropic’s Claude model, and Stability AI’s various synthetic media models. The main attraction is the Titan models trained by AWS, one for synthesizing written content and the other designed for commercial search purposes. There’s also the CodeWhisperer AI programming assistant, a rival for GitHub’s Copilot program. Providing these program is one thing, but creating a program to teach companies about the technology and tailor them for AWS customers is an extra step. Only a massive company like Amazon can attempt it, and there seems to be a real necessity for it, as Voicebot founder Bret Kinsella pointed out in our Synthedia newsletter.

“Today’s biggest barrier to enterprise generative AI adoption is a lack of knowledge and expertise to navigate an entirely new technology stack. It is a pull market. Enterprise enthusiasm for generative AI currently outstrips the available talent required for successful projects,” Kinsella explained. “Enterprises tap data science and some software engineering teams to lead the internal generative AI projects, but most are learning on the job. AWS knows that is a slow path to success. AWS is also generally viewed as lagging behind Azure and Google Cloud teams in generative AI experience, technology, and marketplace mindshare. A robust services offering could be a differentiator and may be a necessity.”

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