Home AI News Amazon says it’ll spend $230 million on generative AI startups

Amazon says it’ll spend $230 million on generative AI startups

Amazon says it’ll spend $230 million on generative AI startups

Amazon says that it’ll commit as much as $230 million to startups constructing generative AI-powered functions.

The funding, roughly $80 million of which is able to fund Amazon’s second AWS Generative AI Accelerator program, goals to place AWS as a lovely cloud infrastructure alternative for startups growing generative AI fashions to energy their merchandise, apps and providers. A lot of the brand new tranche — together with your complete portion put aside for the accelerator program — comes within the type of compute credit for AWS infrastructure, that means that it will probably’t be transferred to different cloud service suppliers like Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

To sweeten the pot, Amazon is pledging that startups on this yr’s Generative AI Accelerator cohort will achieve entry to specialists and tech from Nvidia, this system’s presenting companion. They will even be invited to hitch the Nvidia Inception program, which supplies firms alternatives to attach with potential buyers and extra consulting assets.

The Generative AI Accelerator program has additionally grown considerably. Final yr’s cohort, which had 21 startups, acquired solely as much as $300,000 in AWS compute credit, amounting to round a mixed $6.3 million funding.

“With this new effort, we’ll assist startups launch and scale world-class companies, offering the constructing blocks they should unleash new AI functions that can influence all aspects of how the world learns, connects, and does enterprise,” Matt Wooden, VP of AI merchandise at AWS, mentioned in a press release.

Amazon’s rising spending on generative AI tech, which incorporates efforts like its $100 million AWS Generative AI Innovation Heart, free credit for startups utilizing main AI fashions and its Venture Olympus mannequin, comes as the corporate appears to catch as much as tech big rivals within the blooming — and more and more aggressive — generative AI area. Whereas Amazon claims that its varied generative AI companies have reached “a number of billions” in run charge, the corporate is extensively perceived as having missed the boat on generative AI.

AWS initially deliberate to unveil its personal generative AI mannequin akin to OpenAI’s ChatGPT code-named Bedrock — which finally turned Amazon’s Bedrock mannequin internet hosting service — at its annual convention in November 2022, in line with The Info. However main bugs compelled the group to postpone the launch. (Amazon PR disputes this.)

Amazon’s Alexa division has been beset with challenges as effectively, because of technical setbacks and political infighting, as reported by Fortune’s Sharon Goldman this week. 9 months after a splashy press demo of a “next-gen” Alexa, the brand new Alexa is reportedly removed from prepared for prime time — the results of inadequate coaching knowledge, insufficient entry to coaching {hardware} and different roadblocks.

Amazon additionally handed on early alternatives to again two main AI startups, Cohere and Anthropic. The corporate later tried to spend money on Cohere, however was rejected — and needed to accept a co-investment (albeit a giant one, totaling $4 billion) in Anthropic with chief rival Google. 

In addition to the current departure of Howard Wright, AWS’ head of startups, who managed startup relationships on the org, a hurdle in Amazon’s approach is rising scrutiny from regulators over Massive Tech’s investments in AI startups.

The U.S. Federal Commerce Fee not too long ago opened an inquiry on Microsoft’s backing of OpenAI, in addition to Google and Amazon’s investments in Anthropic. European policymakers have signaled they’re skeptical of such offers as effectively.