Amazon steps up AI competition with Microsoft, Google with new cloud tools


April 13 (Reuters) – Inc’s ( AMZN.O ) cloud computing unit today released a set of technologies aimed at helping other companies develop their own chatbots and artificial intelligence-powered image-generating services.

Microsoft Corp ( MSFT.O ) and Alphabet Inc ( GOOGL.O ) are adding AI chatbots to consumer products such as their search engines, but they are looking for another big market: selling the underlying technology to other companies for cloud operations.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world’s largest provider of cloud computing services, entered that race on Thursday with its own set of proprietary AI technologies, but it’s taking a different approach.

AWS offers a service called Bedrock that allows businesses to customize so-called base models — which respond to queries with human-like text or generate images from queries — with their own data to create a unique model. For example, ChatGPT creator OpenAI offers a similar service, allowing customers to modify the models behind ChatGPT to create custom chatbots.

The Bedrock service allows customers to work with Amazon’s proprietary foundation models called Amazon Titan, but also offers a list of models offered by other companies. The first third-party options come from startups AI21 Labs, Anthropic and Stability AI, along with Amazon’s own models.

The Bedrock service allows AWS customers to test those technologies without connecting to the data center servers that power them.

“It’s unnecessary complexity from the user’s point of view,” Vasi Philomin, vice president of generative AI at AWS, told Reuters. “Behind the scenes, we can summarize that.

Those underlying servers include Amazon’s own custom AI chips, as well as chips from Nvidia Corp ( NVDA.O ), the biggest supplier of chips for AI work but which has held back on chips this year.

“We’ve been able to land tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of chips on demand,” Dave Brown, vice president of Elastic Compute Cloud at AWS, said of the company’s custom chips. “It’s a release valve for some supply chain concerns that I think people are concerned about.”

Editing by Matthew Lewis in San Francisco by Steven Nellis

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