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Has Amazon Lost The AI Race?

Developers, start working on your algorithms! Amazon Web Services has announced the beginning of a 10-week AWS Generative AI Accelerator to accelerate its A.I. initiatives. The program provides access to artificial intelligence tools, coaching, and $300,000 in AWS credits.

Is this just a desperate effort for relevancy, with A.I.-powered digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Assistant being reduced to yesterday’s news? Experts believe it is unlikely. With the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, AI development has accelerated in recent months. Despite the fact that Amazon is a household name in technology, and Alexa, its voice-activated assistant, was one of the first interactions most people had with natural language-capable artificial intelligence, the corporation appears to have fallen behind.

However, industry experts believe that Amazon’s true strength lies in the AWS application suite, which powers a substantial portion of the internet. “Rather than digging for gold, Amazon sells shovels,” Anish Mitra, former Vice President of Growth at Goldman Sachs, told Decrypt. “Amazon is realizing that any successful A.I.-based business will require a massive amount of computing power.”

The corporation may not have launched consumer apps like Google (with Bard) and Microsoft. (investing in and integrating OpenAI APIs). Nonetheless, Mitra predicts that it will include even more artificial intelligence into its products. “Alexa has become indispensable in people’s lives, accounting for 60% of the market,” Mitra explained. “It’s critical for Amazon to continue to improve it, especially since advanced AI tools aren’t yet widely used by everyday consumers.” Currently, AI is used mostly by the top 5-10% of white-collar professions. This, however, might alter with time.”

Amazon will spend more and more in user-friendly platforms so that developers can construct and train increasingly detailed and particular models, unlocking billions of dollars in value over the next decade, just as AWS was one of the main foundations for the cloud revolution.

Amazon has made significant investments in artificial intelligence, notably through its AWS cloud computing platform, which provides enterprises with a variety of AI and machine learning capabilities. Amazon also employs artificial intelligence in its e-commerce operations, such as recommendation engines, inventory management, and shipping.

“Amazon will do what it does best: become a platform,” Tiago Amaral, founder of the A.I. education business Inevitable, told Decrypt. Amaral mentioned AWS’s recent collaboration with the artificial intelligence business Hugging Face, which intends to make the building of machine learning models considerably quicker and more accessible.

Alexa was one of Amazon’s first artificial intelligence-related purchases in 2013. Deep learning startup Orbeus was acquired in 2015, cybersecurity AI startup Harvest.ai in 2017, and robotics business Canvas Technology in 2019. Alexa Internet, a distinct online traffic measurement firm, was bought by Amazon in 1999 and will be phased down in 2022.

The Amazon accelerator program, like others, is aimed to assist early-stage technology firms build and scale their businesses fast by offering tools, coaching, networking opportunities, and occasionally money.

“We’re inviting generative A.I. startups from around the world to apply,” Rob Ferguson, Global Head of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for businesses at AWS, told Decrypt. “We’ll assess applications based on target market, founder/market fit, depth of machine learning native product integrations, and team composition in terms of diversity and technical/non-technical leadership.”

Ferguson stated that ten firms would be chosen to participate in the program, and that mentors will be industry specialists who will help them through the complexities of generative A.I. development.

 

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