AI hype reached a fever pitch in 2023, with businesses racing to develop and deploy generative AI — with all its benefits, wonders, and drawbacks. But 2024 will be the year we see giant leaps forward in the field, said Amazon (AMZN) Web Services CEO Adam Selipsky.
"You'll see models that are significantly more powerful than we see today," he told Yahoo Finance. "I think they will actually improve a lot of the issues that we are all appropriately worried about today."
One pressing concern about AI has been "hallucinations," where AI applications like chatbots offer misleading or made-up facts as genuine information. But more training is set to alleviate that problem.
"Our partner Anthropic talked about [chatbot] Claude 2.1, which reduces hallucinations by two times,” said Selipsky. In September, Amazon announced it's investing as much as $4 billion in Anthropic, an OpenAI competitor.
AI's rapidly increasing sophistication — even in just the year since OpenAI’s ChatGPT was released to the public — is a sign that it's still "very much Day One" for the technology, said Selipsky.
"I think we'll look back three years, five years, 10 years from now and it will seem primordial today,” he said. “There are great capabilities out there, but it's going to continue to go so quickly and to evolve so quickly."
And Amazon's invested in the big picture. Selipsky's messaging about Amazon's AI strategy has been consistent throughout the AI hype cycle — the company is not looking for a one-hit wonder, but a long-term boost. While recent focus has been on large language models (LLMs), Amazon has relied on AI for its warehouse and supply chain operations for years.
This week, at AWS's re:Invent 2023, Selipsky led the way on a series of announcements geared towards AI, including an expansion of the company's AI chips line, an enhanced partnership with Nvidia (NVDA), and an AI chatbot named Amazon Q for its business customers.
But safety and responsible usage remains a priority for Selipsky, who said the company will continue to engage in high-level discussions about AI with political leaders in the US and the UK.
“We're going to try to help bring together multiple stakeholder groups to make sure that this incredible technology is also used for good," he said.
Additionally, at the conference, AWS revealed new features for Bedrock, Amazon’s platform for building generative AI applications. One new offering is AI safety tool Guardrails, which allows customers building LLMs on Bedrock to customize their models to avoid hate speech, violence, and other problematic content in their chatbot’s responses.
Bedrock is also incorporating more models into its platform, allowing customers to choose LLMs and foundation models (FMs) from Anthropic, Cohere, Meta (META), Stability AI, and Amazon's own Titan. It's a tactic that sharply contrasts with Microsoft's (MSFT) approach of focusing on offerings from OpenAI.
Providing a wide range of choice is an essential pillar of AWS's strategy and competitive advantage, according to Selipsky. In AI's rapidly evolving environment, having platforms that allow customers to build and adapt their models on the fly will be essential to attracting — and keeping — business.
"I think the most valuable capability of all is adaptability," said Selipsky.
To that end, Amazon’s partnership with Nvidia will provide what the companies call "the first cloud AI supercomputer," run with NVIDIA's Grace Hopper Superchip and AWS's UltraClusters. The service will allow customers to access thousands of powerful GPUs.
Likewise, AWS will be the first to host Nvidia's DGX Cloud, an AI-training-as-a-service platform capable of training generative AI and LLMs beyond one trillion parameters.
Selipsky is adamant that AWS retain its nimbleness.
"I sometimes joke that my fear is that I wake up in the morning and somebody tells me I'll suddenly work for a big company," he said.
"Incumbents want to protect what they have," he added. "They ignore what might be good for for their customers, and say: 'What's good for me and how do I protect it? And insurgents are looking at what your customers need."
Selipsky — who took the helm at AWS in 2021 after former boss Andy Jassy became Amazon's CEO — is a company veteran and the former CEO of Tableau. He's also a wine enthusiast in his spare time and, though seemingly disparate interests, tech and wine have their parallels.
"We're urgent, we move fast, but we also realize that these are journeys and some of these efforts take years to come to fruition," he said.