AWS launches generative AI center backed by $100M investment

Amazon Web Services launched a new innovation center focused on generative AI backed by a $100 million investment, its most recent bid to keep up with the AI race. The funds will help connect AWS AI and machine learning experts with customers to deploy new products, services and processes.

AWS’ new center builds on a quarter of a century of investment in developing AI technologies and makes up only one corner of the retail giant’s overall generative AI strategy, the company said. Amazon also offers free AI tools such as CodeWhisperer, a real-time AI coding companion, among other AI development tools. No-cost Innovation Center workshops, engagements and training are designed to help customers “accelerate enterprise innovation and success with generative AI,” the company said in a press release.

“Amazon has more than 25 years of AI experience, and more than 100,000 customers have used AWS AI and ML services to address some of their biggest opportunities and challenges,” said Matt Garman, senior vice president of sales, marketing and global services at AWS, in a press release. “Now, customers around the globe are hungry for guidance about how to get started quickly and securely with generative AI.

“The Generative AI Innovation Center is part of our goal to help every organization leverage AI by providing flexible and cost-effective generative AI services for the enterprise, alongside our team of generative AI experts to take advantage of all this new technology has to offer. Together with our global community of partners, we’re working with business leaders across every industry to help them maximize the impact of generative AI in their organizations, creating value for their customers, employees, and bottom line," Garman said.

Customers will be led by AWS experts to build bespoke solutions that help customers “imagine and scope the use cases that will create the greatest value for their business.” For example, Amazon wrote in a press release, healthcare and life sciences companies can work to accelerate drug research and discovery.

Companies looking to integrate the technology into their business can walk through every step of deployment at the innovation center, from technical or business challenges to launching solutions at scale. According to Amazon, guidance will be provided for how to implement AI responsibly and at the lowest cost possible.

In addition to CodeWhisperer, customers can use Amazon Titan and Amazon Bedrock, a service to develop foundation models from AI21 labs, anthropic and stability AI. Models can be trained and run through high-performance infrastructure, including AWS Inferentia-powered Amazon EC2 Inf1 Instances, AWS Trainium-powered Amazon EC2 Trn1 Instances and Amazon EC2 P5 instances powered by NVIDIA H100 Tensor Core GPUs.

Companies already working with the AWS generative AI program are Twilio, Lonely Planet and Highspot. Highspot is used by life sciences sales representatives to offer data to healthcare customers. By working with AWS, the company is aiming to navigate technical and business challenges, develop proofs of concept and scale solutions, according to Amazon.

“Highspot is obsessive about helping our customers drive efficient growth by delivering capabilities that unlock new levels of sales productivity,” said Kurt Berglund, vice president of Science at Highspot, in a press release. “The potential generative AI brings is huge and at Highspot we're leveraging it to transform sales enablement and continue leveling up the value we give our customers. The AWS Generative AI Innovation Center is providing us with novel solutions and creative guidance for some of the most complex challenges and opportunities involved in bringing generative AI workloads to life at scale.”

Earlier this month, Amazon HealthLake was augmented with three updates to aid electronic health record and health IT developers in their efforts to reduce complex data exports, boost interoperability and maintain compliance with federal API and data exchange rules.

Amazon’s SMART on FHIR gives customers building on the tool the control and granular access to protect resources. HealthLake’s Patient Access API creates patient and provider-facing applications to foster information exchange. The final update allows customers to transfer resources, such as payer data, through FHIR bulk data access APIs.

Amazon is only the latest notable party joining the race to reach the AI moon. OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, has raised a $175 million fund to invest in AI startups. Recently, hospitals and health systems have begun employing large language models to predict patient outcomes, perform hands-free charting and offer AI-enabled patient and provider communication. Notably, NYU and Nvidia recently paired up to use AI to foresee readmission rates.

Stanford announced last week that it would launch what it is calling Responsible AI for Safe and Equitable Health, or RAISE-Health, in an effort to research the safe and ethical role new technology should play in healthcare.

Despite concerns regarding AI ethics and safety and slowing venture capital investment, the generative AI market is holding strong and anticipated to reach $110 billion in 2023.