Amazon Expands Free Credits Program for AI Startups, Boosting Bedrock Platform

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced an expansion of its free credits program for startups in a bid to bolster its market share in the artificial intelligence (AI) business, Reuters news report said.
AWS AIThe initiative aims to cover the costs associated with utilizing major AI models, a move anticipated to attract burgeoning businesses to its AI platform, Bedrock.

Howard Wright, Global Head of Startups at AWS, expressed the company’s commitment to nurturing the startup ecosystem. “This is another gift that we’re making back to the startup ecosystem, in exchange for what we hope is startups continue to choose AWS as their first stop,” he stated.

The expansion allows AWS cloud credits to encompass the usage of models from prominent providers such as Anthropic, Meta, Mistral AI, and Cohere, further diversifying the range of options available to startup clientele.

This development follows Amazon’s $4 billion investment in Anthropic via convertible notes. Anthropic aims at leveraging AWS as its primary cloud provider, utilizing Trainium and Inferentia chips to develop and train its models.

Howard Wright emphasized the relationship between AWS and Anthropic, stating, “That’s part of the ecosystem building. We are unapologetic about that,” underlining the mutual benefits derived from such collaborations.

Amazon’s commitment to supporting startups is evidenced by its provision of over $6 billion in credits over the past decade. Furthermore, in collaboration with Y Combinator, AWS is offering $500,000 in credits to the latest cohort launched in January, facilitating access to AI models and Amazon’s proprietary chips.

However, Amazon is not alone in its endeavors to court AI startups. Major cloud providers like Microsoft Azure and Google also offer incentives, with Azure providing credits applicable to OpenAI’s models, while Google’s cloud credits extend to over 130 models on Vertex AI.

Yet, the burgeoning investments in AI startups by tech giants have drawn scrutiny from regulators. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has initiated an inquiry into Microsoft’s backing of OpenAI, along with the investments made by Google and Amazon in Anthropic, reflecting the regulatory attention on the intersection of big tech and AI innovation.

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