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Amazon launches ‘Q’ — a ChatGPT competitor purpose-built for business

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Amazon has launched its own artificial intelligence-powered assistant built for business, “Amazon Q.”

The AI chatbot can be used to have conversations, solve problems, generate content, gain insights and connect with a company’s information repositories, code, data and enterprise systems, Amazon Web Services said in a Nov. 28 announcement.

Q is part of Amazon’s broader strategy to integrate generative AI across its product ecosystem on both consumer and private sector fronts an hopes the tool will prove handy to employees.

“Amazon Q provides immediate, relevant information and advice to employees to streamline tasks, accelerate decision-making and problem-solving, and help spark creativity and innovation at work.”

Employees in HR, legal, product management, design, manufacturing and operations will benefit from Q, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky said in a Nov. 28 CNBC interview.

He noted that Q is trained on 17 years of AWS data.

Conversation tab on Amazon Q. Source: Amazon Web Services

AWS’s largest customers include financial firms Vanguard and Deloitte along with telecommunication companies Samsung and Verizon and entertainment conglomerate Disney — whose employees could leverage the AI chatbot when a more complete version is rolled out.

It is currently only offered in preview mode in Oregon and northern Virginia in the United States.

Related: AI companies commit to safe and transparent AI — White House

Amazon’s Q is unrelated to Q*, an AI project by ChatGPT creator OpenAI — which was rife with controversy last week when founder and CEO Sam Altman was sacked and then reinstated as CEO.

Amazon has been a big investor in the AI space, placing a $4 billion bet on Anthropic — the team behind Claude 2 chatbot — across several investments. Anthropic leverages much of its computational power from AWS.

Two of Amazon’s largest competitors, Google and Meta, released their own AI chatbots named Google Bard and LLaMA earlier in 2023, while Microsoft has invested about $13 billion into OpenAI.

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