Updated April 2nd, 2024 at 16:44 IST

Amazon expands free credits programme to cover AI model usage for startups

The decision to include Anthropic's models in the free credits programme follows Amazon's recent $4 billion investment in Anthropic through convertible notes.

Reported by: Business Desk
Amazon Web Services | Image:Amazon Web Services
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Amazon Web Service (AWS) is ramping up efforts to attract startup customers by expanding its free credits programme to cover the costs of using major AI models, including those from other providers such as Anthropic, Meta, Mistral AI, and Cohere. The move aims to bolster the market share of AWS's AI platform, Bedrock.

In an interview with Reuters, Howard Wright, vice president and global head of startups at AWS, described the expansion of the free credits programme as a gesture of support for the startup ecosystem. He stressed on the importance of startups choosing AWS as their preferred cloud provider and highlighted the wide range of choices and security features offered by AWS.

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The decision to include Anthropic's models in the free credits programme follows Amazon's recent $4 billion investment in Anthropic through convertible notes. Under the terms of the deal, Anthropic will utilise AWS as its primary cloud provider and leverage Trainium and Inferentia chips to develop and train its models.

Wright noted that Amazon's free credits will contribute to the revenue of Anthropic, which is among the most popular models available on Bedrock. He stressed that fostering ecosystem growth is a priority for AWS.

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Amazon has a history of supporting startups, having offered over $6 billion in credits to startups over the past decade. In partnership with Y Combinator, AWS is currently providing $500,000 in credits for the latest cohort, launched in January, which can be used for AI models and Amazon's chips.

While Amazon is not the only major cloud provider offering free credits to lure AI startups, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud also provide similar incentives. However, these investments in AI startups have drawn scrutiny from regulators, with the US Federal Trade Commission opening an inquiry into Microsoft's backing of OpenAI, as well as Google and Amazon's investment in Anthropic.

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Overall, Amazon's move to expand its free credits programme reflects its commitment to supporting startups and driving innovation in the AI space, while also aiming to strengthen its position in the competitive cloud market.

(With Reuters inputs)
 

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Published April 2nd, 2024 at 16:44 IST