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Amazon Web Service (AWS) has expanded its free credit program for startups to cover the costs of using key AI models as it seeks to increase market share of its AI platform Bedrock, the company told Reuters in an interview.

In an effort to attract startup customers, Amazon now allows the use of models from other providers, including Anthropic, Meta, Mistral AI, and Cohere, to be included in cloud credits.

“This is another gift we are giving back to the startup ecosystem in return for startups continuing to choose AWS as their first destination,” said Howard Wright, vice president and global head of startups at AWS. said Howard Wright, Vice President and Global Head of Startups at AWS.

The move follows Amazon’s current $4 billion (approximately Rs. 33,383 crore) investment in Anthropic through convertible bonds. As part of the deal, Anthropic will use AWS as its primary cloud provider and use Trainium and Inferentia chips to build and train models.

Wright said free credit from Amazon will contribute to the bottom line for Anthropic, one of Bedrock’s most popular models.

“This is part of building an ecosystem. We make no apologies for that,” he said, adding that AWS offers startups a wide range of choice and security.

Amazon says it has provided more than $6 billion (about Rs. 50,080 crore) in credit to startups over the past 10 years.

Through our partnership with Y Combinator, we are providing $500,000 (approximately Rs. 4.1 billion) in credits for our latest cohort, launched in January, which can be used on AI models and Amazon chips. Depending on usage, AI usage costs can pile up for startups.

Amazon isn’t the only major cloud provider offering free credit to attract AI startups. Microsoft Azure offers credits that can be used for OpenAI models, and Google’s cloud credits can be applied to Vertex AI’s 130+ models.

Big tech’s investments in AI startups have come under scrutiny from regulators as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began investigating Microsoft’s support for OpenAI and Google and Amazon’s investments in Anthropic.

© Thomson Reuters 2024

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