Amazon Web Services say a new initiative will connect internal experts with customers and partners to accelerate generative AI applications. (GeekWire File Photo / Todd Bishop)

Amazon Web Services says it will invest $100 million in a new initiative to connect its machine learning and artificial intelligence experts with customers and partners to encourage and accelerate the development of generative AI applications and products on the company’s widely used cloud platform.

The announcement of the new AWS Generative AI Innovation Center on Thursday morning comes amid ongoing questions about the company’s ability to keep up with cloud rivals Microsoft and Google in the race to capitalize on breakthroughs in large language models and emerging forms of artificial intelligence.

The company sought to dispel that notion in a news release announcing the investment.

“Amazon has more than 25 years of AI experience, and more than 100,000 customers have used AWS AI and ML services to address some of their biggest opportunities and challenges,” said Matt Garman, AWS senior vice president, in a statement. “Now, customers around the globe are hungry for guidance about how to get started quickly and securely with generative AI.”

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy gave a similar message in his annual letter to shareholders.

The new “center” is not a physical location, but will include no-cost workshops and training, according to the company.

Customers cited in the announcement include Seattle-based sales software company Highspot. Its VP of Science Kurt Berglund says in a statement that the center “is providing us with novel solutions and creative guidance for some of the most complex challenges and opportunities involved in bringing generative AI workloads to life at scale.”

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