Amazon launches Amazon Q

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced Amazon Q, AI-powered assistant designed to enhance workplace productivity. It enables employees to access company data and expertise while maintaining security and privacy. Amazon Q integrates with AWS tools and applications, providing a tailored experience based on an organization's specific data and systems.

This week, Amazon unveiled Amazon Q, an AI chatbot similar to ChatGPT that is tailored for corporate environments. Developed by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Q is designed to assist employees with tasks like summarizing documents, managing internal support tickets, and providing policy guidance, differentiating itself from consumer-focused chatbots. It also serves as a programming assistant. Check it out here: Amazon Q.

According to The New York Times, the name "Q" is a play on the word “question" and a reference to the character Q in the James Bond novels, who makes helpful tools. (And there's apparently a little bit of Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation thrown in, although hopefully the new bot won't cause mischief on that scale.)

Amazon Q's launch positions it against existing corporate AI tools like Microsoft's Copilot, Google's Duet AI, and ChatGPT Enterprise. Unlike some of its competitors, Amazon Q isn't built on a singular AI large language model (LLM). Instead, it uses a platform called Bedrock, integrating multiple AI systems, including Amazon's Titan and models from Anthropic and Meta. Amazon Q is priced at $20 per user per month, which is lower than Microsoft and Google's enterprise AI solutions, which are priced at $30 per user per month.

A screenshot of the Amazon Q interface, provided by Amazon.

"Developers can use Amazon Q to explain specific programming logic by asking questions (e.g., “Provide me with a description of what this application does and how it works”)," writes Amazon in a press release. "And Amazon Q will give details like which services the code uses and what different functions do (e.g., “This application is building a basic support ticketing system using Python Flask and AWS Lambda”), along with a description of the application’s core capabilities, how they are implemented, and more."

Notably, Amazon did not reveal performance benchmarks for Q that would allow us to evaluate its capabilities versus chatbot solutions from other providers. As of press time, we have not experimented with Q yet.

Amazon Q promotional video on YouTube.

Following significant investments in AI, including a partnership with AI-startup Anthropic and the development of AI-tuned GPU chips, Amazon has intensified its AI focus. The Q announcement came as part of a series of reveals at Amazon's annual cloud-computing conference, re:Invent 2023, including plans to create yet another new AI chip for its data centers.

Amazon Q is available now in preview in AWS Regions US East (N. Virginia) and US West (Oregon). “Generative AI has the potential to spur a technological shift that will reshape how people do everything from searching for information and exploring new ideas to writing and building applications,” said Dr. Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of Data and Artificial Intelligence. “AWS is helping customers harness generative AI with solutions at all three layers of the stack, including purpose-built infrastructure, tools, and applications. Amazon Q builds on AWS’s history of taking complex, expensive technologies and making them accessible to customers of all sizes and technical abilities, with a data-first approach and enterprise-grade security and privacy built-in from the start. By bringing generative AI to where our customers work—whether they are building on AWS, working with internal data and systems, or using a range of data and business applications—Amazon Q is a powerful addition to the application layer of our generative AI stack that opens up new possibilities for every organization.”

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