AWS Showcases Enterprise Generative AI Assistant Amazon Q as Rival for Microsoft and Google
Amazon introduced a generative AI-powered chatbot designed to assist AWS customers named Q during this year’s re:Invent conference. Available for $20 per user per year and now in public preview, Q is trained on 17 years of AWS knowledge to provide solutions to common queries such as building web applications using AWS.
AWS CEO Adam Selipsky showcased Amazon Q and its features, including conversation and task completion, content generation, and research through a user’s systems and data. It indexes all connected data and content, learning about a business’s organizational structures, core concepts, and product names. Amazon Q is customizable through connections to organization-specific apps and software like Salesforce, Jira, Zendesk, Gmail, and Amazon S3 storage instances.
Q’s capabilities include answering questions as well as generating or summarizing content like blog posts and emails. It can also take actions on behalf of users through configurable plugins. These include creating service tickets and notifying teams in Slack. Users can inspect actions Q is about to take before they run, ensuring accuracy and effectiveness. Selipsky highlighted how Q’s understanding of AWS allows it to suggest AWS solutions for various app workloads and storage access frequencies. For instance, it can provide a list of suitable EC2 instances for apps requiring high-performance video encoding and transcoding, considering both performance and cost. Additionally, Q offers troubleshooting assistance, such as analyzing network configurations to provide remediation steps. It integrates with CodeWhisperer, Amazon’s service for generating and interpreting app code, allowing it to generate tests, draft plans, and documentation for software features or code transformations.
“Generative AI has the potential to spur a technological shift that will reshape how people do everything from searching for information and exploring new ideas to writing and building applications,” said AWS vice president of data and AI Swami Sivasubramanian. “Amazon Q builds on AWS’s history of taking complex, expensive technologies and making them accessible to customers of all sizes and technical abilities, with a data-first approach and enterprise-grade security and privacy built-in from the start. By bringing generative AI to where our customers work—whether they are building on AWS, working with internal data and systems, or using a range of data and business applications—Amazon Q is a powerful addition to the application layer of our generative AI stack that opens up new possibilities for every organization.”
Despite its advanced features, Q’s code transformation capabilities currently only support upgrading Java 8 and Java 11 apps to Java 17, with .NET Framework-to-cross-platform .NET support planned. These features, along with other code-related functionalities, require a CodeWhisperer Professional subscription. Q is also being integrated into Amazon’s first-party products like AWS Supply Chain and QuickSight, and Amazon Connect, the company’s contact center software. In these applications, Q enhances functionality by providing analyses, visualization options, proposed responses to customer queries, and generating post-call summaries for supervisors.
Selipsky touted Q’s security and privacy features, assuring that the chatbot only returns information a user is authorized to see and can restrict sensitive topics. To prevent ‘hallucinations’—a common problem with generative AI systems—admins can opt for Q to pull only from company documents. The models driving Q, a mix of models from Bedrock, including Amazon’s in-house Titan family, do not train on a customer’s data.
The introduction of Q represents Amazon’s move to provide comprehensive AI solutions for a range of business intelligence, programming, and configuration use cases, positioning it as a competitor to Microsoft’s Copilot for Azure and Google Cloud’s Duet AI. These developments signal a growing trend in cloud services, where generative AI-driven assistants are increasingly becoming integral to optimizing business operations and troubleshooting. It’s one of many generative AI enhancements announced at the event, including new features for Amazon Transcribe, Amazon Personalize, and Amazon Lex.