Amazon’s cloud service, AWS, is investing $100 million into an AI center. (Source: AWS)

AWS to Compete in Latest AI Surge with $100 Million Investment in Center

Since ChatGPT exploded on the scene the larger tech companies have been busy. Microsoft partnered with OpenAI to get a big head start on chatbot tech. Then Google knew it had to get serious about chatbot tech to remain the king of information for the average person online seeking data about one thing or another.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been more low-key about its entry into generative AI, but it just announced a major investment—$100 million—into combining AI with its cloud services.

Adam Selipsky, the CEO of AWS, plans to leverage the world’s largest available cloud service companies with AI under the Amazon banner.

“You ask yourself the question — where are the different runners three steps into a 10K race?” AWS CEO Adam Selipsky said in an interview this week with CNBC. “Does it really matter? The point is, you’re three steps in, and it’s a 10K race.”

Playing Catch Up

Amazon, which beat Microsoft and Google to the business of renting out servers and data storage to companies and other organizations, maintains an overwhelming lead in the cloud infrastructure market. Its AI competitors drew attention and investment due to high-profile entrances into generative AI, even though Amazon has used AI for years to show shopping recommendations and operate its Alexa voice assistant.

Microsoft has been spending billions on a multilayered alliance with OpenAI, and Google is moving quickly to deploy AI tools it built in-house for consumers and businesses.

As part of its announcement, Amazon said it would add data scientists, engineers, and solutions architects to the payroll. AWS said the center is already working with Highspot, Twilio, RyanAir, and Lonely Planet. The company told CNBC it’s a “program” rather than a physical center.

“Amazon has had many examples in its history where it said, we’re going to focus on customers and have a steadfast belief that we’re going to work with customers, we’re going to build what they want,” Selipsky said. “And if people want to perceive us in a certain way, we’re misunderstood, that’s OK, as long as customers understand where we’re going.”

Built-in Advantage

Selpisky says one major issue is the lack of chips that are suddenly more in demand but decidedly less available. Both Amazon and Nvidia are racing to produce more factories that will make these needed chips. But he asserts that customers will have to use AWS anyway to succeed. Amazon will use its Bedrock generative AI service and its Titan models as well as the innovation center.

“AI is going to be this next wave of innovation in the cloud,” he said. “It’s going to be the next big thing that pushes even more customers to want to be in the cloud. Really, you need the cloud for generative AI.”