Amazon Is Developing An Enhanced LLM To Power Alexa

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy revealed a day before yesterday that the company is developing a more “generalised and capable” large language model (LLM) to power Alexa. Similar to ChatGPT, this model is a deep learning algorithm that can recognize, condense, and produce content using knowledge from vast amounts of text data.

Although Amazon has been powering Alexa with an LLM, according to Jassy, the tech firm is now developing a more robust model. The Amazon executive is confident that adding a better LLM will aid Amazon in its mission to create “the world’s best personal assistant.” But he also mentioned that doing this across many domains would be challenging.

Jassy said during the call that “I think when people often ask us about Alexa, what we often share is that if we were just building a smart speaker, it would be a much smaller investment, but we have a vision, which we have conviction about that we want to build the world’s best personal assistant. And to do that, it’s difficult. It’s across a lot of domains and it’s a very broad surface area. However, if you think about the advent of Large Language Models and generative AI, it makes the underlying models that much more effective such that I think it really accelerates the possibility of building that world’s best personal assistant.”

Jassy continued by saying that he thinks Alexa with Amazon is off to a solid start because it is utilized on “a couple of hundred million endpoints” in the entertainment, retail, and smart home industries. He also mentioned how actively third-party ecosystem partners participate in the process.

Jassy said, “We’ve had a large language model underneath it, but we’re building one that’s much larger and much more generalized and capable, and I think that’s going to really rapidly accelerate our vision of becoming the world’s best personal assistant. I think there’s a significant business model underneath it.”

Jassy mentioned in the call that while Amazon has the resources to invest substantially in developing LLMs, small businesses do not, so the company released Bedrock earlier this month. Pretrained models from firms like AI21 Labs, Anthropic, and Stability AI are made available by Bedrock as a tool to create generative AI-powered apps. As part of a “limited preview,” Titan FMs (foundation models) are accessible through Bedrock. It’s a collection of models that AWS has trained internally.

ChatGPT has taken over the internet and grown in popularity since its debut last year. Given the hype surrounding ChatGPT, it should be no surprise that major tech companies are attempting to improve their products using LLM to keep up with the rapidly evolving AI market. For instance, The Information claimed yesterday that Apple is creating Siri upgrades based on LLM. It’s pointless to mention that Google is probably taking similar steps with Assistant.

During the quarterly investor call, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Meta all emphasized their investments in substantial language models in addition to Amazon. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet, stated that Google would continue to use AI to advance search. Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, stated that the company would continue to invest in AI. Microsoft noted that Bing usage has increased since the search engine was updated to include a ChatGPT integration. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, stated that the company would invest in AI and roll out new AI-related updates across all its apps.

Amazon’s first-quarter earnings exceeded expectations, which initially caused its shares to soar. However, once executives expressed concerns about the continued slowness in cloud growth, the stock’s trajectory changed. Operating income for the quarter totaled $4.8 billion, while revenue climbed by 9.4% to $127.4 billion.

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