The conversation was like so many others Uwem Ukpong, vice president of Global Services at Amazon Web Services (AWS), has had nearly every day during the last few months. In this case, the chief financial officer (CFO) of a major industrial company reached out to Ukpong for guidance.
The topic? Generative artificial intelligence (AI). AWS customers want to know how they should approach it and if they are perhaps already behind.
Incorporating generative AI is a concern many business leaders are feeling right now, as the technology has seized both headlines and boardrooms. Generative AI seems to be everywhere, and everyone else seems to be using it already.
Whether you’re excited to apply generative AI to your business or you’re anxious that you’re late to the game, now is the perfect time to get started. The new AWS Generative AI Innovation Center’s purpose is to help customers successfully build and deploy their own generative AI products and services.
Here’s a quick look at what generative AI means for your business, how you can get started, and how the AWS Generative AI Innovation Center can guide you along your way.

Why generative AI deserves your focus

Ukpong has met with hundreds of AWS customers across various industry segments and organizations of all sizes that are facing pressure to get going with generative AI. Generative AI is a type of AI powered by machine learning (ML) models that are trained on vast amounts of data and are used to produce new content, such as photos, text, code, images, and 3D renderings.
“The big questions are, ‘What does generative AI mean for my industry? And for my business?’ That’s what we’ve heard from a lot of customers,” said Ukpong. “It’s been a groundswell.”
He offers some strategic advice in his conversations with customers. First, he tells them that we’re in the early days of this new tech. Many companies are experimenting and exploring, and no customer should feel like they’re behind. But Ukpong cautions businesses.
“If you’re not looking at generative AI, you should be,” he said.
Generative AI has the potential to transform entire industries, and chat tools just scratch the surface of its capabilities. For example, in media and entertainment, generative AI is predicted to usher in a renaissance of creativity, with producers and writers able to invent new worlds, characters, and plots at much lower cost. Or lending institutions will be able to fuel economic development by accelerating loan approvals for underserved communities, using generative AI to perform analysis, paperwork, and communications. There are all kinds of use cases.
“We’re working backwards from what our customers want to achieve,” said Ukpong.
AWS is focused on figuring out what generative AI can do for our customers.

How to get started with generative AI today

When Ukpong talks with customers, he shares three key recommendations for getting started with generative AI.

1. Customers need to understand the foundations of AI and ML

Ukpong recommends that businesses brush up on how traditional AI led to generative AI, how foundation models work, and what responsible AI looks like in the generative era. AWS offers a wealth of resources on these topics that you can access to learn more.

2. Companies should review the data that’s available to them

To fine-tune generative AI models, businesses need quality datasets, and they need to understand the business potential that generative AI can unlock from their data.

3. Business leaders should explore use cases for their companies

Ukpong recommends that businesses start identifying scenarios where generative AI could create new, valuable experiences for customers or truly improve a company’s bottom line. Then, move some of those use cases from “art of the possible” to “art of the practical.” Get strategic and be specific.
And remember, generative AI is one type of AI. Many businesses will still use traditional applications of AI and ML to reinvent operations and launch new products and services for customers.

How the new AWS Generative AI Innovation Center helps AWS customers transform with generative AI

Companies of all types and sizes are excited about the potential of generative AI to transform their business. The new AWS Generative AI Innovation Center can help customers make their ideas a reality faster and more effectively.
AWS is investing $100 million in the center, which will connect AWS AI and ML experts with customers around the globe. The AWS experts will help customers envision, design, and launch new generative AI products and services.
The center’s team of strategists, data scientists, engineers, and solutions architects, as well as experts from the AWS Partner Network, will work step-by-step with customers to build bespoke solutions that harness generative AI. For example, health care and life sciences companies can pursue ways to accelerate drug research and discovery. Manufacturers can build solutions to reinvent industrial design and processes. And financial services companies can develop ways to provide customers with more personalized information and advice.
Customers will work closely with AWS generative AI experts to develop use cases for their businesses, build prototypes, and launch generative AI solutions.
Learn more about the AWS Generative AI Innovation Center and generative AI on AWS.