Amazon joins the AI race with Hugging Face partnership

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 22, 2023

Every major tech company wants a share of the AI pie. Amazon just announced a non-exclusive partnership with Hugging Face, a startup that is developing AI models.

aws hugging face

The partnership, which involves Amazon Web Services (AWS), is designed to " accelerate the availability of next-generation machine learning models by making them more accessible to the machine learning community and helping developers achieve the highest performance at the lowest cost", according to a blog post published on the official Hugging Face blog.

Amazon Web Services will integrate current Hugging Face products into its portfolio, so that AWS customers may access these tools to build their own applications. Hugging Face's next language model, called BLOOM, will be created on AWS, according to Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of database, analytics and machine learning at Amazon’s cloud unit.

Amazon AWS customers may deploy and configure Hugging Face models on Amazon SageMaker and Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2) with just a few clicks, according to the blog post. Customers may furthermore make use of "purpose-build machine accelerators", such as AWS Trainium or AWS Inferentia.

Hugging Face developers may "leverage AWS as a preferred cloud provider" to train, tune and deploy models on AWS. Hugging Face notes that this gives developers opportunities to optimize AI model performance further while lowering costs at the same time.

BNN Bloomberg highlights that the two companies already have 1000 customers in common, and that more than 100000 AWS customers are already running AI applications in the cloud.

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, but BNN Bloomberg notes that Amazon did not invest in the startup directly.

Hugging Face is an AI community. Currently, more than 100000 machine learning models are available for free on the company's website. These are downloaded more than 1 million times daily, according to Hugging Face. The company notes furthermore that AWS is the most popular "place to run models from the Hugging Face Hub", but that it is not the only one.

Microsoft, Google and other major tech companies have accelerated the AI race in recent time. Last month, Microsoft signed an agreement with OpenAI, maker of ChatGPT and other language models, to use the technology in Microsoft Bing, Microsoft Edge and other company products. Microsoft launched a preview of AI in Bing already. Not everything is going according to plan, though.

Google unveiled its own dialogue-focused language model Bard this year as well, but it has yet to demonstrate the capabilities or make them available to the public. Google did make a US $400 million investment into Antropic, an OpenAI rival in 2023 as well.

Amazon's AWS division has a partnership with Stability AI already, which is best known for its Stable Diffusion technology. It is a competitor to OpenAI's Dall-E technology.

Amazon joins the AI race with Hugging Face partnership
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Amazon joins the AI race with Hugging Face partnership
Amazon just announced a non-exclusive partnership with Hugging Face, a startup that is developing AI models.
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