Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, September 26, 2023

AWS Launches New $100M Generative AI Innovation Center 

As the realm of artificial intelligence expands at a breathtaking pace, organizations around the globe find themselves grappling with a daunting challenge: navigating the vast array of generative AI products and services on offer. This complexity, coupled with the strategic and technical expertise required to leverage these solutions effectively, often leaves businesses feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to start with their generative AI initiatives.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is looking to address these challenges with its newly announced AWS Generative AI Innovation Center, a $100 million investment designed to guide its customers in their journey through the labyrinth of generative AI technology, providing them with the resources and expertise needed to translate these advanced tools into real-world applications and solutions.

The AWS Generative AI Innovation Center promises to connect AI and machine learning experts with its customers to help them envision, design, and launch new generative AI products, services, and processes, the company said in a release.

Matt Garman, senior VP of sales, marketing, and global services at AWS said in a statement that the company’s customers have been increasingly requesting guidance about getting started 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,” he said.


AWS says its new Generative AI Innovation Center will have a team of strategists, data scientists, engineers, and solutions architects ready to work closely with customers to build generative AI applications and solutions. Examples include healthcare and life sciences companies that can use generative AI to accelerate drug research and discovery, as well as manufacturers that can leverage the technology for industrial design and processes.

The center will also provide free workshops, engagements, and training related to identifying use cases and best practices. Customers will work closely with AI experts from AWS and its partner network to select the applicable models, address technical or business challenges, develop proofs of concepts, and plan for deployment at scale, the company said. There will also be education related to optimizing machine learning operations in order to reduce costs.

The guidance offered by the AWS Generative AI Innovation Center could be appealing to those looking to unpack the numerous AI products and services the company offers. AWS has heavily invested in its array of generative AI services including Amazon CodeWhisperer, an AI-powered coding companion, and Amazon Bedrock, a fully managed service that gives API access to popular foundation models from AI21 Labs, Anthropic, and Stability AI, along with Amazon’s own family of FMs, Amazon Titan.

Customers can also build, train, and deploy their own AI models with Amazon Sagemaker, as well as use Amazon SageMarker Jumpstart to deploy popular FMs like Cohere’s large language models, Technology Innovation Institute’s Falcon 40B, and Hugging Face’s BLOOM.

Infrastructure options are also abundant, and organizations can elect to train and run their AI models using high performance infrastructure like AWS Inferentia-powered and AWS Trainium-powered compute instances, such as Amazon EC2 Inf1 instances, EC2 Trn1 instances, and EC2 P5 instances powered by Nvidia’s H100 tensor core GPUs.

In a release, AWS highlighted a few customers already engaged with the Generative AI Innovation Center, including Highspot, a sales enablement platform. “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. “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.”

Another customer is Twilio, a customer engagement platform that enables software developers to programmatically make and receive phone calls and text messages, and perform other communication functions using its web service APIs. “Our goal with Twilio CustomerAI is to empower businesses to leverage both generative and predictive intelligence capabilities that help them better understand and provide deeper value to their customers,” said Kathryn Murphy, senior vice president of Product Management at Twilio. “AWS and Twilio are longtime technology partners, and we’re proud to be jointly innovating on predictive AI, using Amazon SageMaker, and welcome future collaboration around generative AI. We look forward to seeing the impact of the Generative AI Innovation Center and its mission to nurture new ideas and capabilities in the AI space.”