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Amazon launches an accelerator to boost generative AI startups

It wants those startups using AWS, of course.

Attendees walk through AWS re:Invent 2022, a conference hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS), in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., November 30, 2022. Noah Berger/AWS/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT
Noah Berger/AWS/Handout via Reuters
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|April 5, 2023 9:47 AM

Amazon may not be known for making generative AI, but it's eager to help others get their technology up and running. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is launching a generative AI accelerator that will help the "most promising" startups flourish. The 10-week program provides credits for AWS use, access to mentors and other experts and networking events. At the end, startups pitch their work to potential investors and customers.

While the accelerator is open to all generative AI startups, AWS recommends that candidates have at least a basic product ready with some interest from customers. Sign-ups are available worldwide through April 17th, and Amazon makes clear that there are no limits on how the AI is being used — it can be used for everything from the legal world through to discovering new medicines.

The company hopes the accelerator will serve as a "catalyst" that advances innovation in generative AI. At the same time, it's not subtle about the potential for increased business at AWS. Runway used the cloud computing platform for an artist-oriented AI that contributed effects to Everything Everywhere All At Once. Firms that blossom as a result of the program may rely that much more on AWS as demand grows.

Amazon only has a limited amount of in-house generative AI at the moment. Its Create with Alexa tool lets you generate children's stories on an Echo Show smart display, for instance. However, it also faces less pressure to create its own products than tech rivals like Google and Microsoft. It still stands to profit as long as there's plenty of demand for AWS tools, and might see inspirations for its own AI work.

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Amazon launches an accelerator to boost generative AI startups