Amazon Commits $3 Million for Budding Generative AI Firms

Amazon Commits $3 Million for Budding Generative AI Firms
Lofty AI?

Amazon has joined the growing generative AI market by launching an accelerator program for startups in the field. The 10-week program targets start-ups from across the globe demonstrating early stage traction.

This comes as the world is anticipating more disruptive changes in the business landscape due to generative AI on the back of its ability to analyse vast amounts of data and generate new ideas.

It has the potential to change the way businesses interact with customers, create products, and make decisions.

Also read: AI Could Impact Environment Both Positively and Negatively

For the Amazon program, generative AI startup founders within the cohort are expected to access AI models, tools and machine learning stack optimization and custom go-to-market advice.

A total of 10 startups will be selected for the program and each receive up to $300 000 in Amazon Web Services (AWS) credits each to build their businesses.

Demanding on compute power

According to Amazon, applications for the program are open for the next two weeks.

“Generative AI models demand a lot of compute power,” says Amazon on their website.

“Ideally, you will have a minimum viable product (MVP) already developed and your eyes set on seed stage funding, with plans to raise in the next 18 months.

“We welcome machine learning startups with technical leads who are leveraging cloud technologies, or who plan to. If you have game-changing ambitions in the Generative AI space, we want to support you.

“We can help. Cohort participants will receive $200,000 in AWS Promotional Credits, and may receive up to $100,000 in AWS Activate credits,” said the company.

According to the tech firm, upon completion of the 10-week programme, the cohorts will pitch to the generative AI community including investors, press and customers to raise awareness about their businesses.

AWS told TechCrunch that it will not invest in the startups and does not yet have an AI/ML investment arm.

Amazon doesn’t dive head first

Unlike other big tech firms, Amazon has been cautious about building generative AI tools, especially when looking at generative AI plays from Google’s Bard and Microsoft’s ChatGPT.

Other big companies like Apple are also reportedly experimenting on language learning models. A report by The New York Times indicated that many teams, including people working on Siri were testing “language-generating concepts” regularly.

Separately, 9to5Mac also reported that Apple has introduced a new framework for “Siri Natural Language Generation” in the tvOS 16.4.

With that said, Amazon is also said to have struck partnerships with top AI companies including Hugging Face and Stability AI, with the latter calling AWS the “preferred cloud provider to build and scale its AI models for image, language, audio, video, and 3D content generation.”

Amazon Commits $3 Million for Budding Generative AI Firms

The inevitable

Generative AI, a kind of AI capable of generating text or other content in response to user prompts, has exploded in popularity since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November the buzzy chatbot went viral, forcing other tech firms to rush to create their own alternatives or include the technology in their products and services.

Overall, it appears the technology is here to stay and will shape the future. It is estimated that by 2025, in medicine for example, the technology will be responsible for the discovery of more than 30% of new drugs and materials, which will result in significant savings.

While AI systems are expected to boost the global labor productivity and create more jobs, it has its downfalls.

Goldman Sachs says generative AI could lead to “significant disruption” on the job market impacting about 300 million full time jobs, after analysing data on occupational tasks in both the US and Europe.

Penned by Joseph Briggs and Devesh Kodnani, the report said that roughly two thirds of current jobs are exposed to some degree of AI automation while generative AI could substitute up to a quarter of current work.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.