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Amazon Recruits Execs From Adept for AGI Effort

Amazon has reportedly hired executives from Adept AI for its artificial general intelligence (AGI) project.

David Luan, Adept’s co-founder and CEO, is set to join Amazon’s AGI autonomy team, Bloomberg News reported Friday (June 28), citing an internal memo. The report said four other Adept co-founders and an undetermined number of other workers will also join the team.

AGI is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that can think like human beings. According to the memo, Amazon plans to use Adept’s technology developing agents, or AI tools that can carry out tasks autonomously, to assist Amazon in creating products for automating software workflows. 

Bloomberg noted that Adept raised $350 million at a valuation of at least $1 billion in March 2023. Announcing the deal with Amazon on its blog, the company said its vision of building both foundational AI models and a tool for businesses “would’ve required spending significant attention on fundraising for our foundation models, rather than bringing to life our agent vision.”

With its remaining staff, Adept will continue to operate separately with a more product-focused mission, according to the memo to Amazon staff.

“David and his team’s expertise in training state-of-the-art multimodal foundational models and building real-world digital agents aligns with our vision to delight consumer and enterprise customers with practical AI solutions.” Rohit Prasad, head of the Amazon AI autonomy team, wrote in the memo.

As covered here earlier this month, AI agents have begun getting the attention of tech investors, prompting a wave of funding for the startups building them.

A report by CNBC at the time noted that this surge in investment is a testament to the potential AI agents have to disrupt industries and drive new opportunities by automating complex tasks and enabling users to delegate responsibilities.

News of Amazon’s embrace of this technology comes days after the company’s market valuation topped $2 trillion for the first time, a milestone driven in part by investor interest in AI. Amazon became the fifth company with a $2 trillion-plus valuation, joining Apple, Google, Nvidia and Microsoft.

Amazon’s involvement in the AI field includes Amazon Web Service (AWS), the world’s largest cloud computing services provider. The tech giant has also invested in AI startup Anthropic and robotics firm Figure.

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