Generative AI (GenAI) represents the latest arsenal in the cloud wars among the three cloud leaders.

This is made obvious as billion-dollar investments continue among hyperscalers.

Microsoft has set its sights on global dominance in the GenAI space with a new $1.5bn investment in an Abu Dhabi (UAE) AI initiative. Meanwhile, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has completed its final round of $4bn in funding to partner Anthropic, striving to gain a foothold following Microsoft’s mega OpenAI investment.

Microsoft, vying for an international presence to offer AI services across Microsoft Azure’s infrastructure, has invested in new technology group G24 in Abu Dhabi, signaling the start of a much larger AI technology role for the UAE. The hefty investment provides Microsoft with a minority share in the startup, which targets various sectors for its AI solutions, including healthcare and energy. In return for the investment, G42 provides Microsoft Azure with an edge in the cloud wars by supplying all of G42’s cloud computing needs for its AI services deployments. The partnership will also yield further collaboration opportunities in the form of global data center buildouts.

Continuous funding is ensuring a close relationship between Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) compute power and Anthropic’s large language model (LLM), which aims to take on Microsoft/OpenAI. In return for its multi-billion-dollar funding, AWS has access to the LLM giant, while Anthropic has access to AWS’ strong portfolio of cloud computing resources, spanning the industry’s leading IaaS to PaaS services. Further, Anthropic immediately has access to AWS’ massive installed base of cloud customers and the vast audience of enterprise developers familiar with AWS’ tools and platform.

Strategic moves in GenAI

While AWS’ recent investment in Anthropic represents a strategic move in GenAI ecosystem partnerships, the effort merely follows Google‘s $2bn investment in Anthropic in late 2023. Following Microsoft’s lead, AWS will continue to build AI and automation into its own product lines to help improve the customer experience and ease the app development/deployment process – which is where the real cloud wars battle will be won.

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Also worth noting regarding important GenAI trends and recent events, open-source software (OSS) technologies are beginning to disrupt the GenAI space.

Abacus AI’s release of Smaug-72B, a new open-source LLM, is causing upheaval among leading LLM rivals. The new OSS LLM is making waves for its ability to outperform the more established LLM leaders OpenAI ChatGPT-3 and Mistral Medium in several benchmark cases, according to testing conducted by Hugging Face.

Smaug-72B is in good company in the OSS space, a market increasingly important to enterprise developers and DevOps teams as a flexible alternative for GenAI adoption. Most importantly, the LLM is free and available for these teams to experiment with, learn from, and build upon – unlike most proprietary LLMs.