The potential "for positive innovation is absolutely huge" according to the Chief Executive of the world’s biggest cloud business AWS.
Speaking to Fox Business’ Susan Li, Amazon’s cloud CEO Adam Selipsky says the development of AI "is going to be so incredible" that "policymakers need to think appropriately about not stifling innovation."
Selipsky was among the 7 Artificial Intelligence CEOs convened this summer at the White House AI Summit to move towards safe, secure and transparent development of AI technology. He warns that like any powerful technology there is "potential for misuse" so there needs to be "appropriate guardrails and regulatory frameworks put in place."
Despite any apprehensions, Amazon has been stepping up its investment in the burgeoning technology, signing a deal in late September to invest up to $4 billion into OpenAI competitor, Anthropic.
But as tech companies continue to spend and invest in future technologies like artificial intelligence, the dominance of their foundational money-making businesses are being closely scrutinized by Washington lawmakers.
Google is currently in court defending against allegations that it abuses a monopoly in online search in the government’s first major case to reign in big tech. Meantime the FTC along with 17 other states also recently filed their landmark case against Amazon alleging illegal tactics to maintain its monopoly in online retail.
On the current anti-big tech sentiment percolating among US lawmakers, Selipsky says Amazon "takes an unusually long term view of the world" adding "there is always going to be a cross wind blowing of one kind or another".
AWS operates separately from Amazon’s ecommerce business and accounts for the majority, over 70% of the company’s operating profits in the most recent earnings quarter.
AWS also released a new study this week that shows US infrastructure investments by the cloud unit have totaled over $108 billion since 2011 which has contributed over $37 billion to the US economy.
Amazon’s investment spending has not quieted loud critics in the US senate including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
Both have called for a closer look at Amazon’s separate businesses with Vermont Senator Sanders calling it a "disgrace" that big companies like Amazon "pay nothing" in taxes.
Selipsky says "we disagree very strongly with Senator Sanders" pointing to the study’s results adding that the billions in spending "supported almost 30,000 jobs annually".
Amazon is set to report quarterly earnings later on this month with growth at Amazon Web Services always a focal point for Wall Street investors. AWS grew 12% in the most recent earnings quarter which was the slowest growth rate for the cloud computing division since Amazon started breaking out the unit’s sales. Selipsky notes that "a lot of companies are going through cost-optimization strategies" with some companies at the "tail end" of their cost-cutting.
When pressed if sales at AWS were still growing at the 12% rate reported last quarter, Selipsky says "I think long-term, the potential of AWS is probably significantly more than that in terms of growth" but adds that "it’s a little hard to put timing around that" especially with many new sources of innovation in the pipeline including Generative AI.