WASHINGTON – Amazon on Nov 28 released its own artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot intended for businesses, about one year after ChatGPT took the world by storm.

“Q” will be available only to Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing customers and will be in direct competition with OpenAI’s ChatGPT as well as Google’s Bard and Microsoft’s copilots that also run on OpenAI’s technology.

Chatbots targeted at businesses have become the main battleground for generative AI, a year after ChatGPT wowed the world with its ability to churn out expert and human-like content instantaneously.

Costing US$20 (S$27) monthly per user, Amazon Q will perform a variety of tasks, including summarising uploaded documents and answering questions about specific data sitting on a firm’s servers.

Amazon chief executive Andy Jassy plugged Amazon Q as a more secure version of an AI chatbot, in which access to content will be more closely controlled.

This was designed to reassure companies that have been put off by the technology’s tendency to churn out incorrect or inappropriate answers, sometimes called hallucinations.

“If a user doesn’t have permission to access certain data without Amazon Q, they can’t access it using Amazon Q either,” Mr Jassy said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

AWS chief executive Andrew Selipsky insisted that cloud customers using Q could also limit their chatbots to a very limited and predetermined source of data.

While presenting the firm’s latest AI developments, Mr Selipsky took a veiled swipe at Microsoft.

For AI tasks, Microsoft, AWS’ biggest rival, depends on OpenAI, the company that suffered an embarrassing boardroom dust-up in November that saw chief executive Sam Altman fired and rehired five days later.

Mr Selipsky said the tumult showed that businesses needed to depend on a variety of AI providers.

“You need a real choice… The events of the past 10 days have made that very clear,” he said at the event in Las Vegas. AFP



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