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Amazon is investing big in AI Startups

According to Amazon, $230 million will be committed to startups building applications powered by generative AI. Amazon wants to help new companies create products using strong AI systems that can generate text, images, videos, and more.

Most of the money will go to startups joining Amazon’s Accelerator program for Generative AI. Last year, the program helped 21 startups but only gave them up to $300,000 each. This year, each startup could get much more help from Amazon. As well as money to pay for using Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing part of Amazon, startups will get experts from Nvidia to advise them. They can also join Nvidia’s program to connect with investors and get other help.

Matt Wood from AWS said the money will “help startups launch and scale world-class businesses.” Amazon wants startups to choose AWS to run their strong AI models instead of other clouds like Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure. While Amazon says its AI businesses make “multiple billions” each year, others think Amazon missed opportunities in strong AI so far.

Amazon wants to catch up in the growing market for generative AI. It plans many other investments totaling over $100 million beyond just the startup program. However, Amazon has faced challenges in developing its own strong AI models. A new version of Alexa has problems and isn’t ready yet, despite a demo almost a year ago. Amazon also missed chances to invest in two top AI companies, Cohere and Anthropic, early on.

Some see Amazon’s big investments in startups as a way to make up for missing other opportunities. But regulators are paying more attention to large tech company deals. Overall, Amazon aims to position itself as the best partner for startups and businesses working with powerful new AI.

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