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AWS Extends Free Credits Program to Cover Additional AI Models

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has reportedly extended its free credits program to cover artificial intelligence (AI) models from other companies.

The program now offers startups credits to cover the cost of using models from AnthropicMetaMistral AI and CohereHoward Wright, vice president and global head of startups at AWS, told Reuters in a report posted Tuesday (April 2).

This expansion is meant to help AWS boost the market share of its AI platform, Amazon Bedrock, according to the report. 

“This is another gift that we’re making back to the startup ecosystem, in exchange for what we hope is startups continue to choose AWS as their first stop,” Wright said in the report.

AWS has offered startups over $6 billion in credits over the past decade, the report said. 

It is now offering $500,000 in credits to the latest Y Combinator cohort launched in January, allowing these startups to use the credits on AI models and Amazon’s chips, per the report.

Amazon Bedrock is a fully managed service that provides access to foundation models from leading AI companies via a single application programming interface. The models offered via Amazon Bedrock can be applied to various use cases, ranging from search and content creation to drug discovery.

By using Amazon Bedrock, customers can experiment with different models and customize them with their own proprietary data, while ensuring privacy and security.

In another recent move in the AI space by Amazon, the company announced Wednesday (March 27) that it made an additional $2.75 billion investment in Anthropic, bringing its total investment in the AI company to $4 billion.

As part of the two companies’ agreement, Anthropic is using AWS as its primary cloud provider, will use AWS Tranium and Inferentia chips for its future AI models and has made a long-term commitment to provide AWS customers with access to future generations of its foundation models on Amazon Bedrock.

With the generative AI marketplace growing relatively crowded, the software pricing models and unit economics of the various AI systems are also starting to jostle for position, PYMNTS reported in December.

As more enterprise AI models come to market, winning on cost means strategically tiering subscription and usage fees based on model type and modality in a way that provides enterprise customers with what they want in the way they can afford it.