Andy Jassy defines the hype cycle of Microsoft and Google AI

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy highlighted the difference between the AI ​​hype cycle and what he called the substance cycle. Getty Images Michael M. Santiago

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy called generative AI one of the biggest technical transformations of our lives in an interview with CNBC on Thursday. He also called many of today’s AI chatbots and other generative AI tools part of the hype cycle, declaring that Amazon was focused on the substance cycle.

The bona fide Amazons in the space are well established, having been a player in AI and machine learning long before the ChatGPTs and World Bards were released publicly. Former Fortune Publisher Brian Dumaine wrote a book in 2020 about how Amazon founder Jeff Bezos quickly realized that embedding machine learning into every aspect of the company would allow it to gather data to constantly improve.

Just as it did with Amazon Web Services, which virtually gave birth to the cloud computing industry that now powers the Internet’s largest companies, including its competitors, Amazon’s AI strategy is focused on consolidating its position as a major player in the whole AI supply chain.

Every single business unit within Amazon is working hard and very broadly on generative AI, says Jassy.

Jassy shed light on Amazon’s AI game plan, outlining three macro layers: the processing capabilities, the underlying models, and what Jassy calls the application layer, such as ChatGPT or Bard.

How Amazon will compete in artificial intelligence

New chips powerful enough to generate the vast amount of computing power needed for the nascent technology will become key manufacturing parts in the future. Chipmaker Nvidia currently has around 83% market share, making the market ripe for a new entrant with Amazon’s technical savvy and deep pockets. So far, AWS has developed two different chips: Trainium, for training machine learning models, and Inferentia, which powers the inferences that ultimately produce a certain output. Both have a better price-performance ratio than other chips on the market, according to Jassy, ​​which is crucial given the computing power needed to power AI in the future.

These and other chips that Amazon hopes to develop will all be used to power the foundational models on which all generative AI applications are built. Jassy says he expects that as a result, only six to eight of these models will form the basis of nearly all generative AI tools in the future. But right now those models are billion-dollar-prohibitive and will take years to perfect, Jassy says, making them inaccessible to ordinary developers, would-be founders of AI startups, and even established companies. To solve this problem, Amazon created Bedrock, a service that sells large machine learning models as a service to customers who are unwilling or unable to develop their own.

What [customers] What they really want is to take that base model and customize it with their own data, without leaking any of that custom data into the generalized model, and they want it with all the same platforms and security features that they get in AWS, says Bedrock’s Jassy .

What AWS is to server space is to machine learning. If successful, Bedrock could become a go-to service for any company with ambitions to develop its own generative AI application.

Not even Amazon has plans to give up that part of the AI ​​race. Jassy says that right now, Amazon is focused on building a generative AI tool that can help developers code faster and find the right applications for the technology to improve customer experience. However, she acknowledges that the vast majority of these applications will be built by other companies, and she obviously hopes they use AWS’ AI-specific suite of tools to do so.

Amazon has long been optimistic about its chances in the AI ​​arms race. Last month, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky poured cold water on the current furor surrounding the latest applications, saying companies were just three steps into a 10K.

Wondering where the different runners are three paces in a 10K race? Selipsky says. Does it really matter? The point is, you’re in three strides and it’s a 10K race.

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