AI is the biggest thing since the cloud: Amazon CEO

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy CEO Andy Jassy said his company’s cloud infrastructure will become an essential part of the generative artificial intelligence boom.

“While we’re building a substantial number of gen AI applications ourselves, the vast majority will ultimately be built by other companies,” Jassy said on Thursday in the company’s annual letter to shareholders. “We’re optimistic that much of this world-changing AI will be built on top of AWS.”

Jassy, whose Amazon career began in 1997, became CEO in 2021 when founder Jeff Bezos stepped down and took the role of executive chairman. His tenure has been characterised by rolling layoffs, cost cuts and product shutdowns as the company adjusted to slower growth coming out of the pandemic. That differentiates him from Bezos, who ploughed revenue into moonshot projects in between bouts of frugality.

The company began cutting hundreds of jobs in its Amazon Web Services division in April. In his letter, Jassy said AWS will be at the core of AI applications and models and “help democratise this next seminal phase of AI”.

Jassy has focused the company’s investments on a few big initiatives such as building data centres to help fuel the AI boom and efforts to develop build out an Amazon franchise in groceries and healthcare. Those were the focus of his letter a year ago. In his first letter to investors as Amazon boss, he pledged to reduce injury rates among the company’s workers.

Read: Retail isn’t the only sector Amazon is about to disrupt in South Africa

“AI may be largest technology transformation since the cloud” or possibly the internet, he said in the most recent missive. “The amount of societal and business benefit from the solutions that will be possible will astound us all.”  — Spencer Soper, (c) 2024 Bloomberg LP

Get breaking news alerts from TechCentral on WhatsApp