Race for AI Isn't Zero-sum, Says Amazon Cloud Boss

Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO Adam Selipsky says there won't be one artificial intelligence platform to rule them all. Stephen Brashear / AFP
Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO Adam Selipsky says there won't be one artificial intelligence platform to rule them all. Stephen Brashear / AFP
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Race for AI Isn't Zero-sum, Says Amazon Cloud Boss

Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO Adam Selipsky says there won't be one artificial intelligence platform to rule them all. Stephen Brashear / AFP
Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO Adam Selipsky says there won't be one artificial intelligence platform to rule them all. Stephen Brashear / AFP

As Google races with Microsoft and OpenAI to create world-changing generative artificial intelligence, some critics see Amazon as lagging behind.
"I respectfully disagree" with that viewpoint, said Adam Selipsky, Amazon's cloud chief, in an interview with AFP.
Tech giants like Microsoft, Google and Meta have made headlines talking about their own foundational models, or those of their close partners, that are key to AI and its ability to produce written works, images, videos or even computer code from simple user prompts.
But "there is simply not going to be one model to rule them all," argued Selipsky.
AWS, Amazon's industry-leading cloud branch, is already seeing customers "needing multiple models for multiple different use cases," he explained.
He cited the capabilities of various AI models available on the AWS Bedrock platform, such as Meta's Llama and Claude from Anthropic, as well as some from Mistral in France and Amazon's own Titan brand.
Generative AI is regarded in Silicon Valley as poised to revolutionize the way people get jobs done.
And cloud computing companies, which have massive computing power, troves of data and AI expertise, now host generative AI models. They are in a prime position to capitalize on the new technology -- but they have a lot to lose if they don't cough up the latest innovations.
25 years of AI
A pioneer of e-commerce, Amazon also dominates the cloud. AWS had 31 percent of the cloud computing market at the end of 2023, according to Stocklytics.
But rivals Microsoft and Google are gaining ground with their cloud businesses, with 24 percent and 11 percent market share respectively.
Thanks to a $13 billion investment in ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, Microsoft is "in the driver's seat" of an ongoing cloud revolution, according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.
Microsoft and Google compete with their in-house, AI-infused digital assistants to help with creating content -- emails, presentations, ads -- and applications (especially chatbots).
AWS is less known to the public and its digital assistant Alexa is not yet as conversational as ChatGPT.
But Amazon has been in the AI business for more than 25 years, said Selipsky. "If you go back to personalization on the retail website in 1998 -- we called it personalization, but it was AI."
The Seattle firm has long had thousands of people working on the technology and has pivoted some of them to the new frontier of generative AI, Selipsky said.
"We've moved rapidly on new generations of our (AI) chips like Trainium, and building Amazon Bedrock, and getting it adopted quickly and coming out with exciting applications on top of the models, like Amazon Q", an AI assistant, he said.
Selipsky, who took command of AWS in 2021, replacing Andy Jassy, who stepped into the chief executive role vacated by founder Jeff Bezos, was confident Amazon would remain a leader in cloud computing.
Clients eye AI programs
As proof, he points to AWS customers and partners, including Nvidia.
The high-profile chipmaker recently announced it is building a "supercomputer" on AWS using Nvidia's own high-performing processors, the ultra sophisticated and coveted GPUs.
Most notably, Amazon has invested $4 billion in Anthropic, an OpenAI rival that is also backed by Google. The start-up will use AWS and its Trainium chips to build AI models and help "improve our technology," said Selipsky,
When asked about exciting aspects of generative AI, Selipsky cited examples of ramped up productivity for its clients.
AWS user pharmaceutical giant Pfizer estimates that it will launch more powerful drugs faster, achieving as much as a billion dollars in annual savings due to AI, according to Selipsky.
Airlines and other industries are already using generative AI to power chatbots that interact with customers.
And while chatbots can make mistakes, companies reason that "human beings don't give 100 percent accuracy either," Selipsky said. "And in many cases, the models are actually outperforming the accuracy and the usefulness of live agents."
AWS cut hundreds of jobs this month, particularly in sales and marketing, to better focus on AI and other priorities.
But Selipsky was adamant that AI has not replaced any of the cloud platform workers.
"AWS has thousands of job postings online today, and yesterday, and the day before, and we will also have (them) tomorrow," he added.



Tencent Finds New Hit in ‘Dungeon and Fighter’ Mobile Game After Dry Spell 

The Tencent Games logo is seen on its game on a mobile phone in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2024. (Reuters) 
The Tencent Games logo is seen on its game on a mobile phone in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2024. (Reuters) 
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Tencent Finds New Hit in ‘Dungeon and Fighter’ Mobile Game After Dry Spell 

The Tencent Games logo is seen on its game on a mobile phone in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2024. (Reuters) 
The Tencent Games logo is seen on its game on a mobile phone in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2024. (Reuters) 

Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings' mobile game "Dungeon and Fighter" was the top-selling app on Apple's App Store in China this week, surpassing the company's existing flagship games after it spent years looking for a new marquee title.

The side-scrolling action game, developed by South Korea's Nexon and published by Tencent, became the top-selling app in China hours after it was launched on May 21 and it has stayed there since, according to app tracking platform Appmagic.

Tencent's "Honor of Kings" and "Peacekeeper Elites" have long been China's most popular games but they have recently shown signs of declining revenue as their popularity ebbed.

Globally, "Dungeon and Fighter" mobile ranked as the world's second top-selling app last week, only behind short video platform TikTok and ahead of Honor of Kings and YouTube, which came in third and fourth, according to Appmagic.

The video game is estimated to have earned more than $40 million in revenue on Apple devices after receiving over 2.4 million downloads, according to Appmagic.

Robin Zhu, senior analyst at Bernstein, said that Appmagic's number aligns with data recorded by another app tracking firm called Sensor Tower.

But he said that the game actually makes more money because the $40 million figure was only Tencent's and Nexon's cut, excluding Apple's share of the revenue.

"Gross billings-wise, the Sensor Tower data suggests you're looking at 1.2 to 1.5 billion yuan ($206.95 million) of receipts since launch," he said. Gross billing refers to the gross amount that users have spent on the game.

He said that "Dungeon and Fighter" mobile's strong performance is on track to meet Nexon's expectation of 3 billion yuan in gross billings during the game's first month of launch.

Officially named "Dungeon and Fighter: Origin", the game is a mobile adaptation of the "Dungeon and Fighter" computer game, one of the world's most profitable computer games which Tencent also publishes.

The game, under development for seven years, was released in South Korea in 2022 and became an instant hit. But its China release was delayed after the government cracked down on the gaming industry between 2018 and 2022.