Amazon is reportedly working on a new AI chatbot

Metis could be available as early as September.

REUTERS / Reuters

Amazon is allegedly working on a new chatbot codenamed "Metis," Business Insider reports, citing an internal document and unnamed sources familiar with the project. It would be powered by a new AI model, Olympus, rather than Amazon's previously released Titan.

With Metis, Amazon is reportedly aiming to use an approach known as retrieval-augmented generation (RAG). As the company describes it, RAG "redirects the LLM to retrieve relevant information from authoritative, pre-determined knowledge sources. Organizations have greater control over the generated text output, and users gain insights into how the LLM generates the response."

Basically, RAG allows systems to retrieve data outside of pre-loaded information from sources like APIs and document repositories. This data can be updated separately without having to retrain a model and could allow it to access up-to-date information, thus providing more accurate, clear responses (ideally).

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy and Rohit Prasad, its AGI team's head scientist and a senior vice president, are working directly on the development of Metis. The team also reportedly includes many veteran Alexa AI workers, and their work on Metis seems to borrow from technology they developed for the forthcoming  "Remarkable Alexa" voice assistant.

Amazon tentatively plans to release Metis in September, around the time the company typically has its product launch event. However, one of the sources stated: "Technically it will work, I guess, but the question is if it's already too late." OpenAI first launched ChatGPT at the end of November 2022, and Google launched Bard (now known as Gemini) in March 2023 — to name just two of the big players that Amazon will face. Amazon's Titan isn't as powerful as its competitors, though the company has been trying to reach more customers with options like a business-centric model, Q.

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