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Amazon Rolls Out 'Q' Enterprise AI Assistant

Amazon Q — the company's answer to cloud rival Microsoft's "Copilot" AI — is now available for commercial use.

First introduced as a preview release last fall at re:Invent, Q is aimed at businesses, developers and IT pros. It promises to bear the burden of low-value but time-intensive tasks, so users can focus on the more complex and higher-stakes aspects of their jobs.

"Since we announced the service at re:Invent, we have been amazed at the productivity gains developers and business users have seen," said AWS AI chief Swami Sivasubramanian in a prepared statement on Tuesday. "Early indications signal Amazon Q could help our customers' employees become more than 80% more productive at their jobs; and with the new features we're planning on introducing in the future, we think this will only continue to grow."

Q is a natural language AI assistant that's integrated into several AWS solutions, including Amazon Connect (a contact center solution), Amazon QuickSight (a BI platform) and AWS Supply Chain (an inventory management platform). Q is able to tap into an organization's internal data to make its responses more relevant to users, but AWS emphasizes that Q users' data is not used to train the product's underlying model.

There are two main flavors of Q now available. Amazon Q Developer has a free tier, as well as a Pro version that's priced at $19 per user per month. Amazon Q Business similarly has two tiers — Lite, which costs $3 per user per month, and Pro, which costs $20 per user per month.

Q for Developers

As its name suggests, Amazon Q Developer is designed to help with developer tasks, particularly application coding, testing, troubleshooting, upgrading and more. Q promises coding suggestions that are highly accurate; according to AWS, Q "has the highest reported 61 code acceptance rates in the industry, for assistants that perform multi-line code suggestions." It can also integrate with an organization's internal code base via a "customization capability."

Q can also help developers make their apps more secure by scanning code for vulnerabilities and recommending ways to fix them.

For multistep developer tasks — adding a new feature to an existing app, for example, which requires updating source files, code blocks and test suites — users can deploy Q "agents," which are able to "autonomously perform a range of tasks." Internally, Amazon used Q agents to upgrade 1,000 applications from Java 8 to Java 17. What normally would have taken months took Q just two days.

On the cloud administration side, Q lets IT pros pose natural language queries about their AWS environments to get insights into things like network health, cost by resource or bucket security configurations.

More information on Amazon Q Developer is in this blog post.

Q for Business

The business-optimized Q offering can "answer questions, provide summaries, generate content, and securely complete tasks based on data and information in your enterprise systems." It does so while remaining in line with an organization's pre-established security policies, down to the individual user level, according to AWS.

Amazon Q Business is particularly useful for those who already use the Amazon QuickSight business intelligence service. Because Q integrates with QuickSight, users of the latter can now create custom BI dashboards by simply querying Q for the specific data they're looking for. (AWS offers this prompt as an example: "Build a story about how the business has changed over the last month for a business review with leadership.")

Q has more integrations with data sources than comparable AI assistants, per AWS. Among its 40-plus integrations are Microsoft Exchange, Salesforce, Slack, Gmail, ServiceNow and Amazon S3. As for Q's output quality, AWS said, "Amazon Q Business outperforms all published results for other assistants on correctness, truthfulness, and helpfulness for general Q&A (using the MultiHop-RAG dataset), as well as industries like finance (using a FiQA dataset sample) and technology (using a LoTTE dataset sample)."

As mentioned, the Business edition of Q has two paid tiers. The more expensive Pro tier comes with access to the preview of Amazon Q Apps, a feature that lets users build custom applications that are informed by organizational data. The apps are shareable across the organization, use natural language and require no coding.

For more information about Amazon Q Business, visit this blog post.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.

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