During Amazon’s first-quarter earnings call, CEO Andy Jassy announced that the company is working on a more advanced Large Language Model (LLM) to power Alexa. This deep learning algorithm, similar to ChatGPT, can recognize, summarize and generate text based on large amounts of data.
Although Amazon already has an LLM powering Alexa, Jassy stated that the new model will be more “generalized and capable” than the current one. He believes that this improved LLM will aid Amazon in achieving its goal of creating “the world’s best personal assistant,” but acknowledged that this will be a challenging task across multiple domains.
Jassy explained that if Amazon were only creating a smart speaker, it would require a much smaller investment. However, their vision is to build the best personal assistant, which encompasses a broad range of areas. Large Language Models and generative AI have the potential to accelerate progress in this area, making underlying models more effective.
According to Jassy, Amazon is off to a good start with Alexa, which is being used by “a couple of hundred million endpoints” in entertainment, shopping, and smart homes. He also pointed out the high level of involvement from third-party ecosystem partners.
Jassy explained that while Amazon has already built a large language model, it is now working on a much larger and more versatile one, which he believes will accelerate their goal of creating the world’s best personal assistant. He also sees significant business potential in this endeavor.
During the call, Jassy emphasized Amazon’s long-standing investment in AI and LLMs. He acknowledged that while Amazon has the resources to invest heavily in building LLMs, smaller companies do not. To address this issue, Amazon launched Bedrock earlier this month. Bedrock allows startups to build generative AI-powered apps using pretrained models from companies such as AI21 Labs, Anthropic, and Stability AI. Bedrock is currently available in a “limited preview” and offers access to Titan FMs, a family of models that have been trained in-house by AWS.
ChatGPT has taken the internet by storm since its launch last year, gaining immense popularity. With the increasing hype surrounding ChatGPT, major tech companies are seeking to integrate LLM-based enhancements into their own offerings to keep pace with the rapidly evolving AI landscape.
As reported by The Information, Apple is currently developing LLM-based improvements for Siri, while Google is likely doing something similar for Assistant.
During their quarterly calls with investors, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Meta highlighted their investments in large language models. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai stated that Google will continue to leverage AI to enhance search capabilities. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the company’s plans to invest in AI, citing an increase in Bing usage following a ChatGPT integration. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the company will be investing in AI and introducing new AI-related updates across its apps.
It is clear that LLM-based advancements are becoming increasingly vital for major tech companies to remain competitive in the AI space.
In the first quarter, Amazon exceeded expectations with its earnings report, causing a surge in shares. However, the excitement was short-lived as executives expressed concerns about the continued sluggishness in cloud growth. Despite this, revenue for the quarter increased by 9.4%, reaching $127.4 billion, and operating income amounted to $4.8 billion.