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Amazon Web Services has announced the launch of a $100 million AWS Generative AI Innovation Center. The new program aims to help customers successfully build and deploy generative artificial intelligence offerings. In addition, it will connect AWS AI and machine learning experts with customers around the globe to help them envision, design and launch new generative AI products, services and processes, the company said in a press release.

Amazon’s global customers “are hungry for guidance about how to get started quickly and securely with generative AI,” said Matt Garman, senior vice president of sales, marketing and global services at AWS, in a statement. “The Generative AI Innovation Center is part of our goal to help every organization leverage AI by providing flexible and cost-effective generative AI services for the enterprise, alongside our team of generative AI experts to take advantage of all this new technology has to offer.”

AWS is leveraging its global community of partners to work with business leaders in all industries to help them maximize the impact of generative AI in their organizations, Garman said.

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What the AWS Generative AI center offers

The AWS Generative AI Innovation Center has assembled a team of strategists, data scientists, engineers and solutions architects who will work alongside customers throughout the process of building generative AI systems. These experts will provide “a wide range of services from advisory functions, such as exploring the best foundation models to meet business objectives, to hands-on engagements, such as fine-tuning foundation models, to meet industry-specific needs,” Sri Elaprolu, head of the Generative AI Innovation Center and senior manager of data science and machine learning, told TechRepublic.

“While we see machine learning happening everywhere, there are specific industries that we are focused on first,” Elaprolu noted, including financial services, healthcare and life sciences, automotive and manufacturing, media and entertainment, telecom and energy.

For example, healthcare and life sciences companies can pursue ways to accelerate drug research and discovery, he said. “It’ll help healthcare companies finally deliver on the promise of personalized medicine for both doctors and patients. They will be able to use generative AI to answer questions and provide diagnoses extracted from integrated health records and research databases.” The goal is to save lives by empowering researchers to create new protein sequences, antibodies and enzymes for vaccines, and gene therapies based on models trained to use libraries of science data, Elaprolu added.

The Generative AI Innovation Center will work with customers using Amazon’s “working backwards process,” Elaprolu said. “First, we work with the customers to identify the business opportunities and the potential generative AI use cases. Then, our team helps them plan and develop proof-of-concepts, and lastly, we help them prepare for production launch at scale.”

Specifically, the generative AI professionals will help customers with brainstorming and problem formulation, Elaprolu said. “We’ll support them in working through challenges involved and defining a clear path to success. Our goal here is to help our customers understand how to select the right generative AI use cases to experiment with, improve accuracy in foundation and large language models, and strategize how to fine-tune and customize these models for use cases.”

There will also be free workshops, engagements and training offered to customers to come up with use cases that will create the greatest value for their businesses based on best practices and industry expertise, according to the press release. The generative AI professionals from AWS and the AWS Partner Network will help select the right models, define paths to navigate technical or business challenges, develop proofs of concepts and make plans for launching offerings at scale.

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How customers plan to use the AWS Generative AI center

Sales-enablement platform Highspot, travel guidebook publisher Lonely Planet and customer engagement platform Twilio are among the first companies that will work with the innovation center to develop generative AI offerings, the company said.

To help customers reduce costs, the Generative AI Innovation Center will provide guidance on how to apply generative AI responsibly and optimize machine learning operations. The team will offer strategies, tools and assistance to help customers use AWS generative AI services, according to the AWS press release.

The idea is for customers to be able to train and run their models using high-performance infrastructure. Additionally, customers can build, train and deploy their own models with Amazon technologies, AWS said.

“The potential generative AI brings is huge, and at Highspot we’re leveraging it to transform sales enablement and continue leveling up the value we give our customers,” said Kurt Berglund, vice president of science at Highspot, in a statement. The innovation center is providing “creative guidance for some of the most complex challenges and opportunities involved in bringing generative AI workloads to life at scale,” Berglund added.

Chris Whyde, senior vice president of engineering and data science at Lonely Planet, said in a statement: “The AWS Generative AI Innovation Center, paired with expert-driven advice and Lonely Planet’s award-winning content, will enable us to provide more personalized travel recommendations, making travel more accessible for those around the world.”

Twilio’s goal with its Twilio CustomerAI “is to empower businesses to leverage both generative and predictive intelligence capabilities that help them better understand and provide deeper value to their customers,” said Kathryn Murphy, senior vice president of product management at Twilio, in a statement.

Tips for applying generative AI responsibly

Elaprolu offered tips to responsibly apply generative AI that the center will promote: develop methods to detect biases and explain model predictions, and monitor and implement human review of the generative AI’s output.

In addition, AWS has been providing tools to help customers with responsible AI, such as Amazon Sagemaker Clarify and AWS AI Service Cards, he said. The team is creating “an operational approach” that encompasses people, processes and technology to maximize benefit and minimizes risk. “Additionally, continuous education on the latest developments in AI/ML is an important part of responsible use as the technology constantly changes,” Elaprolu noted.

Accenture is investing in generative AI

In related news, Accenture announced on June 21, 2023, that it will expand its partnership with AWS to help its customers reinvent their business processes with AI. The news was part of Accenture’s recently announced $3 billion investment in its data and AI practice.

Accenture will work with AWS to invest in developing new industry-specific and cross-industry offerings, pre-built models and training to help clients utilize large language models and generative AI and move from experimentation to adoption. The company said it will help clients deploy Amazon Bedrock to use Amazon SageMaker, along with other AWS ML technologies.

The investments will span across industries including financial services, life sciences, customer support and supply chain, Accenture said.

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