Amazon has told employees it will soon reveal its support for ChatGPT.

Machine Learning

SAN FRANCISCO — Tech giant Amazon has clearly been absent from Silicon Valley’s raging AI wars, despite years of development of its Alexa voice assistant and investments in cloud computing and machine learning.

But at a recent all-hands meeting for cloud computing employees, management assured employees that the company wasn’t lagging behind.

“There’s a lot going on in this space,” Swami Sivasbramanian, Amazon’s vice president of databases, analytics and machine learning, said at a March meeting, according to records obtained by The Washington Post. . “We have a lot planned and are very excited to share some of our plans for the future.”

When ChatGPT launched in November and generative AI exploded onto the scene, it was OpenAI, a formerly non-profit research group, that triumphed. Tech giants Google and Microsoft (Microsoft invested billions in his OpenAI) rushed to catch up and soon launched chatbot products Bard and Bing respectively.

But despite running the largest cloud computing business, having the most employees and a market valuation of over $1 trillion, Amazon was not among them.

Amazon Web Services has announced partnerships with AI companies such as Stability AI and Hugging Face. This will enable other companies to use Amazon’s infrastructure to build artificial intelligence products. The company uses machine learning in many business units, including Alexa and search. However, some speculate that the company is lagging behind due to its failure to launch generative AI for consumers.

Recently, a select group of venture capitalists and AI company founders gathered at the Cerebral Valley AI conference, and Amazon seemed visibly absent. Some participants said the tech giant appears to be lagging behind its peers in his AI race.

At a recent all-hands meeting, management apparently disagreed with the idea.

Chatbots are just “one application of this kind of model,” Sivasbramanian said. His more than 100,000 machine learning customers at Amazon have expressed interest in using the company’s technology to improve personalization, search engine results and even automate his call centers, he said. said.

“Looking at how we innovate in machine learning, we have paved the way for machine learning adoption among mainstream enterprises and customers,” Sivasubramanian said. “We are excited to do the same thing in this space because it is evolving so quickly, but we will do it the Amazon way. We will look at what areas we are working on and how we can help our customers succeed in this area.”

Amazon has yet to comment. Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Post.

Not all employees seemed convinced. One of his AWS staffers, who commented on the all-hands video, said Amazon “is nowhere near allowing him to use AWS services like he can in her ChatGPT.”

Another employee, who seemed unsatisfied with the company’s response, decided to ask another source, ChatGPT, how Amazon could compete on AI. The employee posted a chatbot response containing a hoax of his Amazon technology in the comments on the video, confusing some colleagues.

Talk about generative AI technology and how it will reshape art, work, and life as we know it has rocked Silicon Valley lately. But early leaders in that conversation were smaller startups whose tools like Midjourney’s image generator and OpenAI’s ChatGPT and DALL-E have become wildly popular. Their success raises questions about whether the tech giants are lagging behind in innovation. It also battles safety concerns as it flocks to the cutting edge of potential technology.

Big Tech has moved cautiously with AI. Then came ChatGPT.

The surge comes at a time when economic concerns are forcing these large companies to cut spending. In some cases, they are firing the very people they hired to implement AI safeguards.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy told the Financial Times in February that the company has a strategy for generative AI.

“Most large, highly technical companies like ours have been working on these very large generative AI models for a long time,” he said.

Amazon tends to be pragmatic: A former Amazon employee who worked on AI, speaking on condition of anonymity to explain sensitive issues within the company, said Amazon typically keeps its experiments private. prefer to launch products with a clear market strategy.

Amazon Web Services works with AWS Polly, which automatically converts written text into “natural human speech,” and computer vision tools that can interpret what a camera sees and automatically alert people. We already sell several tools that leverage artificial intelligence, such as Amazon Panorama. Problems like broken products on conveyor belts.

Amazon grew relentlessly. I am thin now.

Amazon has also invested heavily in building its voice assistant, Alexa. But voice-activated chat technologies like Alexa and Siri are fundamentally very different from generative AI, which can learn and adapt rather than just answer questions. Amazon wanted customers to finally use Alexa to shop and order without having to pick up their phone or computer. However, while the speaker is popular, its behavior is not widespread.

And as Amazon tried to scale back and find focus due to an uncertain economy, it laid off thousands of employees, including hundreds who worked at Alexa.

Amazon begins widespread layoffs of big companies

But AWS CEO Adam Selipsky, who shared the stage with Sivasubramanian at All Hands in March, said there is “a lot going on across Amazon” when it comes to AI. I repeated.

The company is working on “some very exciting projects and products,” he said.

“I think it’s going to be really cool when they show up eventually.”

Gerrit De Vynck contributed to this report.

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