Amazon hires key executives from Adept

Amazon hires key executives from Adept

Amazon Executives

Amazon has hired top executives from AI agent startup Adept, the company confirmed. As part of the deal, Amazon will license technology from Adept, including some of its AI models and datasets. This move is seen as part of Amazon’s effort to keep pace with competitors in AI by developing new services and strengthening its investment in AI startups like Anthropic.

Rohit Prasad, a senior vice president and head scientist overseeing Amazon’s artificial general intelligence (AGI) unit, wrote in a memo to employees on Friday that the company hired Adept co-founder and CEO David Luan and several other key team members for their AGI team. Luan will oversee Amazon’s “AGI Autonomy” division and report to Prasad. The recruitment and licensing from Adept come amid intensified competition in the AI space, with rivals adding new features to their core products and offering businesses more ways to access large language models through public cloud offerings.

Amazon’s cloud unit, AWS, has launched various AI services but is generally seen as lagging behind top competitors. Amazon has also invested heavily in OpenAI competitor Anthropic and enhanced its Alexa voice assistant with a new paid version featuring generative AI capabilities. Prasad, who previously led Alexa’s science team, has been steering Amazon’s development of AGI since August.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Adam Selipsky, the head of Amazon Web Services, would step down and be succeeded by Matt Garman, AWS’s head of sales and marketing.

Amazon acquires Adept expertise

Meanwhile, talent wars have heated up across the AI industry.

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Notably, Mustafa Suleyman, a co-founder of Google’s DeepMind, went on to lead startup Inflection AI, and Microsoft brought on several of Inflection’s top executives. Founded in 2022 by a group of former OpenAI engineers, Adept quickly attracted significant investment and was valued at more than $1 billion by early 2023. Adept focuses on developing AI tools capable of completing complex tasks without human assistance.

One of its key products is an agent that can perform actions on a computer on the user’s behalf, such as navigating webpages and logging data. As part of the agreement with Amazon, Adept’s technology, multimodal models, and certain datasets will be licensed to Amazon to accelerate the development of digital agents that can automate software workflows. The technology will be used under a non-exclusive license, allowing Adept to continue operating as a standalone company.

“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,” Prasad stated. Adept noted that developing its own AI models would have required more capital, and the Amazon deal allows it to focus on building agents. Adept will continue to operate independently even after Luan and other executives join Amazon.

This strategic move highlights Amazon’s commitment to advancing its AI capabilities and competing in a rapidly evolving industry.


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