Getty Images/iStockphoto

AWS launches Builder Studio in Melbourne

The Builder Studio will help customers and partners build prototype AI projects to validate and test their ideas before deployment

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has opened a new Builder Studio in Melbourne to help customers in the Asia-Pacific region develop systems using generative artificial intelligence (GenAI), machine learning (ML) and other technologies.

The Melbourne studio, which occupies 350sqm of space in Amazon’s new Melbourne office that opened in early February, is the second such facility globally. The company opened its first Builder Studio in New York last year.

Adrian De Luca, AWS’s Asia-Pacific director of cloud acceleration, said that while the Builder Studio is open to AWS customers and partners of all sizes at no charge, participants must commit to involving the right people in the organisation for the duration of their project.

These projects can take three to six weeks, and draw on AWS’s prototyping and cloud engineering team. Amazon’s “working backwards” methodology starts by identifying the desired result, such as a particular user experience to meet a business opportunity or challenge, and then experimenting with AWS services and skills to achieve that outcome.

The result should be a working prototype that can be used to validate and test ideas before committing to a real-world implementation.

The Builder Studio’s innovation showroom includes several demonstrations to inspire customers. These include Intelligent Welcome, an AI-based application that greets customers and personalises their AWS Builder Studio engagement based on their industry, and Smart Space, a digital twin application providing 3D rendered spaces for architects and designers to experiment with building design.

The studio has its own workshop area including a 3D printer so developers and engineers can collaborate on projects such as custom internet-of-things (IoT) controllers and industrial interfaces, and build prototypes on-site. There’s also a server room with AWS infrastructure such as AWS Outposts to support applications that have low latency or local processing requirements.

“We’re excited to call Melbourne the home of our first Asia-Pacific AWS Builder Studio, which is another step in our commitment to help customers in Australia, and across the region, accelerate innovation across all industries,” said AWS ANZ managing director Rianne Van Veldhuizen.

“With breakthroughs in generative AI, robotics, IoT and other emerging technologies, our goal is to apply these technologies directly to customer user cases and make them more tangible, accessible and engaging for companies of all sizes.

“By combining Amazon’s unique culture of innovation and our world-leading technologies in this new facility, we’re giving customers the confidence to experiment and speed up the product development cycle,” she added.

Asked about how many customers will take advantage of the Builder Studio this year, De Luca said “as many as possible”, pointing out that the studio can accommodate up to six groups at a time.

One of the goals of the Builder Studio is the desire to lower the barriers to innovation and get advanced technology into the hands of more organisations.

Read more about AI in Australia

Kristen Migliorini, founder and CEO of KomplyAi, an Australian provider of AI regulatory compliance software that was at the launch of the studio, said the governance of AI systems presents “a challenge we really must address”.

“Through close collaboration with AWS, we were able to de-risk the initial process of iterative and agile technology development, enabling us to better leverage resources, research and technical support to iterate and improve KomplyAi beyond the original prototype,” she said.

Funding for the Builder Studio is additional to AWS’s planned investment of A$13.2bn in its cloud infrastructure in Sydney and Melbourne between 2023 to 2027, including A$6.8bn in AWS’s Melbourne cloud region.

Natalie Hutchins, Victoria’s minister for jobs and industry, welcomed the Builder Studio to Melbourne, saying that the state believed in investing in its workforce.

She said the government needs to be ambitious when it comes to growing the local workforce, pointing to initiatives such as introducing a vocational mode for senior secondary students, and support for 5,000 people – 59% of them female – to retrain for digital and cyber security jobs.

Read more on Artificial intelligence, automation and robotics

Data Center
Data Management