Amazon Web Services (AWS) chief executive Adam Selipsky added his voice to the chorus of IT company leaders who have promoted a revolutionary vision of what generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) can achieve during his keynote speech at the supplier’s Re:Invent show in Las Vegas.
In an onstage interview with Dario Amodei, founder and chief executive of GenAI supplier Anthropic, Selipsky pronounced himself “speechless” at his interlocutor’s comment that it has already reduced the incidence and significance of the well-known hallucinatory shortcomings of the technology.
Amodei said: “We’ve seen obstacles in deployment [of GenAI] in the enterprise world because people are worried that models will say things that aren’t true. No one is perfectly solving this problem. But we are leading the way in getting more and more reductions of hallucinations.”
Selipsky announced a generative AI assistant called Q that is said, in an AWS statement, to “empower employees to get answers to questions, solve problems, generate content, and take actions using the data and expertise found at their company”.
Accenture, Amazon itself, BMW Group, Gilead, Mission Cloud, Orbit Irrigation and Wunderkind are among the customers and partners said to be using Amazon Q.
“This is just the start of how we’re going to help you reinvent the future of work. We continue to innovate across all layers of the stack, to bring you what you need to harness the power of generative AI for your organisation’s performance and cost-effective infrastructure”
Adam Selipsky, Amazon Web Services
It is said to “provide information and advice to employees to streamline tasks, accelerate decision-making and problem-solving, and help spark creativity and innovation at work. Designed to meet enterprise customers’ stringent requirements, Amazon Q can personalise its interactions to each individual user based on an organisation’s existing identities, roles and permissions. Additionally, Amazon Q never uses business customers’ content to train its underlying models”.
In an interview with Computer Weekly at the event, Rajesh Naidu, senior vice president, chief architect and head of data platforms and data management at Expedia, said the announcement of Q had piqued his interest, but he still has questions.
“Amazon Q was something I went right away to check out on the [AWS] console to see what it is all about. It is everywhere. It’s got the generic capability to search about AWS,” he said. “But I want to see what it means for my data and my things. If I have to guide a developer on, for instance, how we build a secure app in Kubernetes, will it have enough context?”
Swami Sivasubramanian, vice-president of data and artificial intelligence at AWS, said in a statement: “Generative AI has the potential to spur a technological shift that will reshape how people do everything from searching for information and exploring new ideas to writing and building applications.
Swami Sivasubramanian, AWS
“AWS is helping customers harness generative AI with solutions at all three layers of the stack, including purpose-built infrastructure, tools and applications. Amazon Q builds on AWS’s history of taking complex, expensive technologies and making them accessible to customers of all sizes and technical abilities, with a data-first approach and enterprise-grade security and privacy built-in from the start.”
The stated rationale for Q is said to be that, as Sivasubramanian continued: “Chat applications do not know an organisation’s business, data, customers, operations, or employees – the work they do, who they interact with, what information they use, and what they can access. Additionally, these solutions were not initially built with the security and privacy features that organisations need for employees to safely use them in their day-to-day work. This has led to companies adding these features to their assistants after they were built, which does not work as well as incorporating security into the assistant’s fundamental design.”
Trained on 17 years of AWS knowledge and experience, Amazon Q is said to “offer a change in the way developers and IT professionals build, deploy and operate applications and workloads on AWS. Customers can access Amazon Q through a conversational interface from the AWS Management Console, documentation pages, their IDE, and over Slack or other third-party chat apps”.
The product has 40-plus built-in connectors for data sources, including Amazon S3, Dropbox, Confluence, Google Drive, Microsoft 365, Salesforce, ServiceNow and Zendesk.
The company is promising to bring Amazon Q to other AWS services and applications. These include Amazon QuickSight, its business intelligence service.
The supplier also announced Amazon Q being in AWS Supply Chain. This will be a cloud-based application that is said to give customers insights into their supply chain by combining Amazon’s nearly 30 years of supply chain experience with the resilience, security and business continuity of AWS.
In the keynote, Selipsky said: “This is just the start of how we’re going to help you reinvent the future of work. We continue to innovate across all layers of the stack, to bring you what you need to harness the power of generative AI for your organisation’s performance and cost-effective infrastructure.”
Some 50,000 people are in attendance at the event, which sports around 2,000 technical sessions, according to a spokesperson.