Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon, recently expressed his enthusiasm for the potential of generative AI, calling it “exciting”. In an interview with the Financial Times, Jassy also mentioned that many major tech companies have been utilizing these large, generative AI models “for quite some time”.
Despite having AI and machine learning technology, such as its voice assistant Alexa and CodeWhisperer, Amazon is lagging behind in the field of generative AI as exemplified by ChatGPT. Alexa has been a fixture in many households for quite some time, with numerous devices featuring built-in Alexa capabilities. While some individuals use Alexa for practical tasks, such as playing music, adjusting lighting, and setting alarms, others enjoy utilizing the AI assistant for more entertaining purposes, such as asking Alexa to share jokes and stories. However, unlike ChatGPT, Alexa can’t compose poetry or stories or even write codes.
Amazon is aiming to make Alexa more conversational, which would be a marked change over the current model that is only programmed to provide answers to specific queries. The company is also exploring the potential to collaborate with smaller companies to advance its generative AI technology. One notable instance is Stability AI, a rival of Microsoft-supported OpenAI, which announced that Amazon is its “preferred cloud partner” for developing and training its AI models.
One area where Alexa does have an edge is its ability to offer personalized services. It knows what music, the sort of book, or news you would be more interested in. It can remember important timelines and is also more conversant with real-time information. Given that Amazon already has extensive research in the field of AI and is also open to tying up with other companies specifically doing research in the field of conversational AI, it might have a rival to ChatGPT soon enough.
As generative AI technology continues to evolve and become more sophisticated, it will be interesting to see how Amazon responds. Will they be able to create a ChatGPT rival? Only time will tell!