Amazon has launched a 10-week AWS Generative AI Accelerator program that aims to speed up its AI efforts by providing access to AI resources, mentorship, and $300,000 in AWS credits. Although some may view this as a desperate bid for relevance after Alexa’s declining demand, industry experts say that Amazon’s strength lies in the suite of AWS applications that power a significant part of the internet. The company has made substantial investments in AI, particularly with its AWS cloud computing platform, which offers businesses a range of AI and machine learning services. Amazon also uses AI in its e-commerce business, such as recommendation engines, inventory management, and logistics.
Anish Mitra, former Vice President of Growth at Goldman Sachs, believes that Amazon is in the business of selling shovels, not digging for gold. Mitra says, “Any successful AI-based business will need a ton of computing power.” Although Amazon has not introduced applications for end consumers like Google and Microsoft, it is likely to incorporate even more AI into its solutions. Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated assistant, has captured 60% of the market and is essential in people’s lives. Mitra believes that it is crucial for Amazon to improve it further, particularly since advanced AI tools are not yet widely used by everyday consumers.
The company may not have introduced applications for end consumers, but it will undoubtedly incorporate even more AI into its solutions. Amazon’s strength may lie in its ability to become a platform, says Tiago Amaral, founder of the AI education company Inevitable. AWS’s recent partnership with the AI company Hugging Face aims to allow the development of machine learning models to become much easier and accessible.
Although Alexa was one of Amazon’s earliest AI-related acquisitions in 2013, the company has made several more AI acquisitions, including deep learning startup Orbeus in 2015, cybersecurity AI startup Harvest.ai in 2017, and robotics startup Canvas Technology in 2019. Amazon’s accelerator program, like others, is designed to support early-stage technology startups by providing resources, mentorship, networking opportunities, and funding to help them grow and scale their businesses quickly.
The accelerator program is open to generative AI startups across the globe that can submit their applications for the program. Ten startups will be selected to participate, and mentors will be industry experts who will guide them through the intricacies of generative AI development. As the demand for AI continues to grow, Amazon’s investment in AI may help the company stay relevant and ahead of the pack.
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