Amazon is Stepping up Efforts to Stay in the AI Race

Amazon — In the months since OpenAI released ChatGPT, several companies have stepped up in their effort to stay relevant in the artificial intelligence race.

Microsoft already has a head start with its Bing AI while Google developed Bard.

China has also developed as search engine Baidu introduced its own AI chatbot, the Ernie Bot.

Amazon seemed to be among the few tech giants feeling left behind, but the e-commerce titan has recently made progress to stay in the race.

The news

On Thursday, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy released a letter to investors and shareholders, letting them know that the company won’t be left behind in the AI race.

In the letter, Jassy said that Amazon is heavily investing in large language models and generative AI.

The two technologies are being utilized by ChatGPT and similar AI chatbots.

“We have been working on our own LLMs for a while now, believe it will transform and improve virtually every customer experience, and will continue to invest substantially in these models across all of our consumer, seller, brand, and creator experience,” the letter reads.


The remarks were part of Andy Jassy’s second annual letter to shareholders since stepping in as Amazon’s CEO.

However, the letter also suggested some pressure as many tech companies have felt a need to explain how they could keep pace with the rapidly evolving marketplace for AI-centric products.

Since OpenAI introduced ChatGPT to the world in late November, several companies have hyped their focus on generative AI tech, including:

  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Microsoft

Artificial technology has largely been praised for its ability to create compelling essays, unique stories, and even digital art, based on the user’s prompts.

According to Jassy, Amazon’s goal is to provide users with a less costly machine learning chip to allow small and large companies to afford to run and train their LLMs in production.

Large language models are typically trained using vast amounts of data to develop responses to user prompts.

“Most companies want to use these large language models, but the really good ones take billions of dollars to train and many years, most companies don’t want to go through that,” said Jassy.

“What they want to do is, they want to work off of a foundational model that’s big and great already, and then have the ability to customize it for their own purposes.”

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Andy Jassy’s words served as a preview to a new service Amazon developed called Bedrock.

Bedrock creates foundation models, or large models pre-trained on massive data, from AI21 Labs, Anthropic, Stability AI, and Amazon, that would become more accessible to clients through an API.

Jassy is confident that Bedrock will be a major gamechanger.

In his letter to the shareholders, the Amazon CEO also hyped up AWS’s CodeWhisperer.

It is an AI-powered tool that Jassy described as having the capability to revolutionize developer productivity through code suggestion generation in real time.

“I could write an entire letter on LLMs and Generative AI as I think they will be that transformative, but I’ll leave that for a future letter,” he wrote.

“Let’s just say that LLMs and Generative AI are going to be a big deal for customers, our shareholders, and Amazon.”

Company standing

In his letter, Andy Jassy reflected on leading the e-commerce giant through one of the most challenging macroeconomic years in recent memory.

In the past few months, Amazon has had to cut over 27,000 jobs in a bid to rein in costs.

“There were an unusual number of simultaneous challenges this past year,” said Jassy.

The Amazon CEO outlined steps the company took to reconsider its free shipping options, abandon a few physical store concepts, and greatly reduce its overall workforce.

On Thursday, Amazon disclosed Jassy’s 2022 pay package was valued at around $1.3 million in a securities filing.

The filing also reported that he didn’t receive any new stock awards last year.

Despite the challenges in the company, Andy Jassy’s letter suggests he is optimistic about the future of Amazon.

“I strongly believe that our best days are in front of us,” he wrote.

Image source: Gizmochina

Pandemic led tech companies into error of judgment; how they’re coping

Pandemic: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explained how the pandemic’s arrival shifted the scales in the company’s favor two years ago.

Microsoft prospered as a result of its online services.

“What we have witnessed over the past year is the dawn of a second wave of digital transformation sweeping every company and every industry,” said Nadella.

Starting in 2023, the scenario is drastically different from how it was two years before.

Microsoft made the decision to fire 10,000 employees public this week.

The corporation said that as it deals with economic uncertainty, it is reevaluating its digital spending from the pandemic era.

Microsoft users are attempting to do “more with less,” according to Nadella.

The tech space

Microsoft has not been the only business to change course; other businesses have also been laying off employees.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has announced its intention to lay off 6% of its workforce (around 12,000 jobs).

Major corporations including Amazon, Google, Meta, and Microsoft have started posting news about letting go of more than 50,000 employees since October.

The decisions run contrary to the pandemic’s early stages, when tech giants were growing to satisfy soaring demand.

Many people in the sector at the time believed the expansion would last for many more years.

However, compared to September 2019, Amazon more than doubled the corporate workforce of the company.

While building new warehouses, they employed over 500,000 people.

Between March 2020 and September of last year, the employment of the massive social media company Meta was doubled.

Other businesses that increased their employee count include:

  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Salesforce
  • Snap
  • Twitter

In the past several weeks, the aforementioned businesses have also announced layoffs.

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Error in judgment

Most tech leaders underestimated the pandemic’s expansion, particularly in light of the number of individuals who returned to their offices and routine.

Consumer spending and advertising have decreased recently due to a number of issues, including:

  • Recessionary fears
  • Inflation
  • Increasing interest rates

In the middle of the crucial December quarter, Wall Street analysts are now forecasting single-digit profit growth for a number of corporations.

Apple and Meta are anticipated to experience declines, according to Refinitiv forecasts.

Recent headcount reductions often refer to a tiny portion of the total workforce.

While they eliminate gains from the prior year for some, they leave tens of thousands (or perhaps hundreds of thousands) of employees for others.

However, it disrupts the lives of employees who are now looking for new employment due to their company’s seemingly endless development.

Pandemic growth

Investment company Third Bridge’s worldwide sector lead, Scott Kessler, offered his thoughts on the tech industry’s recent decisions and early development.

“They went from being on top of the world to having to make some really tough decisions,” said Kessler.

“To see this dramatic reversal of fortunes… it’s not just the magnitude of these moves, but the speed that they’ve played out.”

“You’ve seen companies make the wrong strategic decisions at the wrong times.”

Apple is still the only major player in technology to have not disclosed layoffs.

With the exception of research and development, the corporation apparently placed a hiring freeze.

Apple increased their employment by 20% over the past four years, which is far less than other businesses.

“They’ve taken a more seemingly thoughtful approach to hiring and overall managing the company,” noted Kessler.

Meanwhile, tecg CEOs have admitted that they made a mistake by hiring too many people at the start of the pandemic and by failing to predict the surge in demand when the pandemic’s restrictions were lifted.

Pichai admitted responsibility for Alphabet’s layoffs on Friday and vowed to return the company’s attention to its core activities.

He wrote an email to the staff on Friday, and it ended up on the business website.

“The face that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me,” Pichai wrote.

“I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.”


None of the CEOs of the large corporations appear to have had their title or compensation changed as a result of the layoffs.

With all the economic warnings, according to Scott Kessler, the tech layoff announcements will probably continue over the forthcoming earnings season.

Companies that haven’t seen such repercussions may soon decide to reduce their workforces in response.

Kessler observed:

“I think there is an element of [some companies], saying ‘We might not see this right now but all these other big companies, these companies that we compete with, that we know, that we respect, are taking these kinds of actions, so maybe we should be thinking and acting accordingly.”

Amazon continues layoffs with 18,000 cuts announced

Amazon: Mass layoffs, also known as large-scale layoffs or workforce reduction, refer to the practice of a company dismissing a significant number of employees at the same time.

This can happen for various reasons, such as a decline in business, restructuring the company, or outsourcing certain functions.

2022 was a year that witnessed several major corporations announce laying off hundreds of thousands of workers.

Although it has already joined the movement, Amazon says it will continue to lay off employees.

The news

Amazon is one of the world’s largest and most successful online retailers.

The company initially started as an online bookstore but quickly diversified to sell various products, including electronics, clothing, home goods, and more.

In addition to its online retail business, Amazon also offers cloud computing and streaming services.

According to reports, Amazon is laying off more than 18,000 employees.

The company explained that the decision was made due to the worsening global economic outlook.


Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon, said the e-commerce giant would continue its layoffs early next week.

He released a memo that elaborated on the decision, saying:

“Our annual planning process extends into the new year, which means there will be more role reductions as leaders continue to make adjustments.”

“Those decisions will be shared with impacted employees and organizations early in 2023.”

According to Jassy, Amazon has yet to conclude how many other roles will be affected.

However, each leader will communicate with their respective teams when they come to a conclusion.

Additionally, the memo said executives recently met to decide how to trim the company.

Amazon executives will also prioritize what customers value and the business’s long-term health.

“This year’s review has been more difficult given the uncertain economy and that we’ve hired rapidly over the last several years,” said Jassy.

The layoffs

In November, Andy Jassy said job cuts at Amazon would continue into early 2023.

Several media outlets reported last fall that the e-commerce giant set a goal of cutting over 10,000 employees.

On Wednesday, Amazon started the layoffs.

The decision to cut jobs is supposed to help Amazon pursue long-term opportunities from a more robust cost structure.

Jassy acknowledged that the cuts are a difficult decision and that it is difficult for people.

“We don’t take these decisions lightly or underestimate how much they might affect the lives of those who are impacted,” he added.

The e-commerce giant will start informing the affected staff on January 18.

“It’s not lost on me or any of the leaders who make these decisions that these aren’t just roles we’re eliminating,” said Jassy.

“But rather, people with emotions, ambitions, and responsibilities whose lives will be impacted.”

Read also: Retailers have Grim Expectations with the 2023 Market

Shifting habit

The e-commerce giants enjoyed a booming business at the onset of the pandemic.

Consumers shifted their habits to online shopping for nearly everything they needed.

However, Amazon was struck hard by the surging inflation in 2022.

In addition, consumers demand dwindled as people started opting for in-person shopping, an area the company is currently focusing on.

Company stock

In October, Wall Street analysts were disappointed with Amazon’s holiday season forecast as it missed their expectations.

The company expected revenue for the final three months to stand between $140 and $148 billion, which was significantly lower than the expected $155 billion.

Rising inflation and recessionary fears affected consumer purchasing decisions, leading to a weaker forecast.

Amazon reported revenue of $127.1 billion for the third quarter.

While it was a 15% increase from 2021, it missed Wall Street estimates.

Other companies

Several tech companies, founders, and CEOs admitted failing to gauge pandemic demand.

As a result, many are cutting off staff.

Meta recently announced it was laying off 11,000 employees, the largest mass layoff in the company’s history.

Meanwhile, after buying Twitter for $44 billion, Elon Musk has been cutting jobs from the company left and right.

This week, Salesforce announced it was cutting off 10% of its employees.


Amazon will lay off more than 18,000 workers

Amazon stock falls 14% on light holiday quarter sales forecast

Jeff Bezos and the Ultimate American Dream

Jeff Bezos may be the richest man in the world today, but obviously, he did not start off that way. In his opening testimony in front of the House judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, Bezos revealed his humble beginnings, telling the world that he owes his monetary wealth in large part to his supportive family. 

Before he could amass the wealth he has now, he had a different kind of wealth: “the wealth of a loving family, a family that fostered my curiosity and encouraged me to dream big.” In the testimony, Bezos talks about his mother, Jackie, who had him when she was a 17-year-old high school student in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The school tried to kick her out, but they were stopped by his grandfather, who negotiated a deal with the principal. She graduated, but it was not without challenges, as she was stripped of her privilege to use a locker, join extracurriculars, and walk across the stage with the rest of her class at graduation.

Life tried to kick Bezos’s mother down, but she persevered. Even though she could have called it quits, she was determined to continue her education. So she enrolled in night school, bringing her infant son with her all throughout.

Bezos then talked about his father, Miguel, who adopted him when he was 4 years old. His father flew straight out of Cuba, alone, not knowing any English, and only really getting by through grit and self-determination. He eventually received a scholarship to Albuquerque, where he met Bezos’s mother, and the rest, as they say, is history.

These two hardworking, resourceful, and loving individuals, with Bezos’s grandparents, made him who he is today. It was with their blessing and help that he built Amazon from the ground up, starting with quitting his safe and steady job on Wall Street and moving into a Seattle garage. He even fondly recalls driving packages to the post offices himself, dreaming of one day affording a forklift.

He started from the garage, not knowing if his venture was even going to take off, and now he stands as the richest man in the world, with Amazon hitting heights never imagined before.

At the end of his opening speech, Bezos emphasized how great of a country the USA is. Bezos explains, “We’re in the middle of a much needed race reckoning. We also face the challenges of climate change and income inequality, and we’re stumbling through the crisis of a global pandemic. Still with all of our faults and problems, the rest of the world would love even the tiniest sip of the elixir we have here in the US.

He talked about immigrants, like his father, who come to America in search of a better life for themselves. Immigrants often come to America at great costs, leaving behind their homeland, their family, their entire lives. But they know that it’ll be worth it once they get a chance to chase the American dream, the same dream that Jeff Bezos has aspired to his whole life and which he has achieved tenfold.