Amazon is continuing to invest heavily in artificial intelligence, as the e-commerce giant seeks to gain parity with the likes of Google, Microsoft and OpenAI.

Reuters, citing two people familiar with the matter, reported that Amazon is investing millions into training a large language model (LLM), similar to the popular OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

According to the report, the Amazon LLM is codenamed “Olympus”, and has 2 trillion parameters, which could make it one of the largest models being trained. In comparison, OpenAI’s GPT-4 model, is reported to have one trillion parameters.

Image credit: Unsplash

Olympus LLM

According to the Reuters report, the Amazon team is headed up by Rohit Prasad, former head of Alexa, who now reports directly to CEO Andy Jassy.

As head scientist of artificial general intelligence (AGI) at Amazon, Prasad reportedly brought in researchers who had been working on Alexa AI and the Amazon science team to work on training models, uniting AI efforts across the company with dedicated resources.

Amazon has already trained smaller models such as Titan.

Amazon has also partnered with AI specialists such as Anthropic and AI21 Labs, offering them to Amazon Web Services (AWS) users.

According to Reuters, Amazon believes having homegrown models could make its offerings more attractive on AWS, where enterprise clients want to access top-performing models.

Reuters added there is no specific timeline for releasing the new model.

Amazon investments

Amazon has been investing heavily in AI in the past year, as witnessed by previous AI announcements.

For example in September Amazon revealed it would invest up to $4 billion (£3.3bn) into AI firm Anthropic and take a minority stake in the firm.

That investment is one of many, in which backers are pouring billions into the AI industry, following a multi-billion dollar investment by Microsoft in OpenAI in January.

Amazon in September also updated its Alexa voice assistant with generative artificial intelligence capabilities.

In June Amazon introduced new AI tools to track down fake reviews, and also tested generative AI to summarise users’ comments.

It comes after CEO Andy Jassy said in April that generative AI and large language models would “transform and improve virtually every customer experience“.

The e-commerce giant has long used AI machine learning models to analyse thousands of data points to help track down fake reviews.

In the summer Amazon Web Services it was investing $100 million in the AWS Generative AI Innovation Centre, which will connect AWS AI and machine learning (ML) experts with customers around the globe to help them envision, design, and launch new generative AI products, services, and processes.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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