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

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