Amazon launches new cloud tools to help build chatbots in competition with Microsoft, Google heats up
Amazon.com’s cloud computing division on Thursday released a suite of technologies aimed at helping other companies develop their own AI-backed chatbots and image-generating services.
Microsoft and Alphabet are adding AI chatbots to consumer products like their search engines, but they’re also targeting another huge market: selling the underlying technology to other companies through their cloud operations.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world’s largest cloud computing provider, jumped into that race on Thursday with a suite of its own proprietary AI technologies, but it’s taking a different approach.
AWS will offer a service called Bedrock that allows businesses to customize so-called core models — the core AI technologies that do things like respond to queries with human-like text or generate images from a prompt – with their own data to create a unique model. The creator of ChatGPT, OpenAI, for example, offers a similar service, allowing customers to refine the models behind ChatGPT to create a custom chatbot.
The Bedrock service will allow customers to work with Amazon’s proprietary base models called Amazon Titan, but it will also offer a menu of models offered by other companies. The first third-party options will come from startups AI21 Labs, Anthropic and Stability AI alongside Amazon’s own models.
The Bedrock service allows AWS customers to test these technologies without having to manage the underlying data center servers that power them.
“It’s unnecessary complexity from a user perspective,” Vasi Philomin, vice president of generative AI at AWS, told Reuters. “Behind the scenes, we can abstract from that.”
These underlying servers will use a mix of custom AI chips from Amazon as well as chips from Nvidia Corp, the largest chip supplier for AI work, but whose chips have been in short supply this year.
“We are able to install tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of these chips, depending on our needs,” said Dave Brown, vice president of Elastic Compute Cloud at AWS, of the custom chips in the business. “It’s a release valve for some of the supply chain concerns that I think people are concerned about.”
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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