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Amazon launches its Bedrock generative AI service in general availability

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Amazon today announced the general availability of Bedrock, its service that offers a choice of generative AI models from Amazon itself and third-party partners through an API.

Bedrock, which was unveiled in early April, allows AWS customers to build apps on top of generative AI models and customize them with their proprietary data. Leveraging these models, brands and developers can also create AI “agents” that automatically execute tasks like booking travel, managing inventory and processing insurance claims.

In the coming weeks, Llama 2, the open source large language model from Meta, will come to Bedrock, Amazon says — joining models from AI21 Labs, Anthropic, Cohere and Stability AI.

Amazon claims Bedrock will be the first “fully managed generative AI service” to offer Llama 2, specifically the 13-billion- and 70-billion-parameter flavors. (Parameters are the parts of a model learned from historical training data and essentially define the skill of the model on a problem, such as generating text.) However, it’s worth noting that Llama 2 has been available on other cloud-hosted generative AI platforms for some time, including Google’s Vertex AI.

Bedrock is in many ways comparable to Vertex AI, speaking of, which offers its own library of fine-tunable first- and third-party models on which customers can build generative AI apps. But Swami Sivasubramanian, VP of data and AI at AWS, argues that Bedrock has an advantage in that it plays nicely with existing AWS services, like AWS PrivateLink for establishing a secure connection between Bedrock and a company’s virtual private cloud.

To be fair to Google, I’d argue that’s more of a perceived advantage than an objective one, seeing as it’s dependent on the customer in question and the cloud infrastructure they’re using. Of course, you won’t hear Sivasubramanian acknowledge that.

“Over the last year, the proliferation of data, access to scalable compute, and advancements in machine learning have led to a surge of interest in generative AI, sparking new ideas that could transform entire industries and reimagine how work gets done,” Sivasubramanian said in a press release. “Today’s announcement is a major milestone that puts generative AI at the fingertips of every business, from startups to enterprises, and every employee, from developers to data analysts.”

In related news this morning, Amazon announced the rollout of its Titan Embeddings model, a first-party model that converts text to numerical representations called embeddings to power search and personalization applications. The Titan Embeddings model supports around 25 languages and chunks of text — or whole documents — up to 8,192 tokens (equivalent to ~6,000 words) in length, on par with the latest embeddings model from OpenAI.

Bedrock had a rocky start. Bloomberg reported in May that, six weeks after Amazon demoed the tech with an unusually vague presser and just one testimonial, most cloud customers still didn’t have access. With today’s announcements — and its recent, multibillion-dollar investment in AI startup Anthropic — Amazon’s clearly looking to make waves in the growing and lucrative market for generative AI.



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Greenhouse Gases Are Alerting Oceans ‘Before Our Eyes,’ Says NASA

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NASA has shared a stunning yet concerning visualisation of sea surface currents and how they are being altered due to global warming. The visualisation depicts the average temperatures of ocean currents and how they differ at different locations.

The warmer hues such as red, orange, and yellow indicate higher temperatures, and cooler shades like green and blue represent lower temperatures.

“With 70% of the planet covered by water, the seas are important drivers of Earth’s global climate. Yet, increasing greenhouse gases from human activities are altering the ocean before our eyes,” the agency captioned the post.

According to NASA, 90 percent of the planet’s warming occurs within the ocean. Since modern recordkeeping began in 1955, the internal heat of the ocean has steadily increased, contributing significantly to climate change.

ALSO SEE: World’s Oceans Are Losing Their “Memory” As A Result Of Global Warming, Experts Claim

The heat stored in the ocean leads to thermal expansion, a process where water expands as it warms. This phenomenon is a major contributor to global sea level rise, accounting for one-third to one-half of the increase.

Scientists say the majority of this heat is concentrated at the surface, within the top 700 meters of the ocean. According to existing records, the past decade has been the warmest for the ocean since at least the 1800s, with 2023 marking the highest recorded ocean temperatures to date.

ALSO SEE: Arctic Ocean Warming Started Decades Earlier Than Previously Thought

The warming of the ocean has far-reaching effects. One of the most visible impacts is the rise in sea levels, primarily due to thermal expansion. Warmer waters have also led to widespread coral bleaching, which affects marine ecosystems and the increased temperatures also accelerate the melting of Earth’s major ice sheets.

NASA says that the warming ocean intensifies hurricanes affect ocean health and biochemistry, altering marine life habitats and disrupting food chains.





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NASA Shares Incredible Picture Of ‘Space Potato’ Phobos; It Will Soon Crash Into Mars

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Ever seen a space potato? NASA is here to treat you with one. The agency has shared a fascinating image of Phobos, the larger of two moons of Mars, explaining what makes this object so intriguing.

Meauring just 27 by 22 by 18 kilometres in diameter, Phobos orbits Mars about 6,000 km above the red planet’s surface and it is on a collision course with Earth.

This is the closest any Moon orbits a planet and Phobos might crash into Mars in the future. Scientists estimate that this is likely to happen within 50 million years. Another likely scenario of Phobos’ end will be its potential obliteration into pieces, eventually forming a ring around Mars.

According to NASA, Phobos is nearing Mars at the rate of six feet each year.

ALSO SEE: We May Have Been Wrong About Martian Moon Phobos’ Origin, It Could Be A Comet

Phobos (left) and Deimos (right). Image: NASA

Describing the image, the agency said that it was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been studying Mars since 2006.

Phobos was discovered along with its twin just six days apart by astronomer Asaph Hall in 1877.

ALSO SEE: ISRO’s Mangalyaan Presents Breathtaking Video Of Martian Moon ‘Phobos’

The Moon also has several craters but the most dominant one is the 10-km-wide Stickeny crater which Hall named after his wife Angelina.

The second moon is Deimos which measures 15 by 12 by 11 kilometres and orbits the red planet every 30 hours. Both the moons are named after the mythological sons of Ares, the Greek counterpart of the Roman god. Phobos means fear and Deimos means dread, says NASA. As for their origin, astronomers believe they could be asteroids or debris caught by Mars in the early solar system.

(Image: NASA)





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Rare ‘Gigantic Jets’ Spotted Above The Himalayas, NASA Shares Viral Picture

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NASA recently shared a captivating image of gigantic jets soaring from a thunderstorm toward the Himalayan Mountains in China and Bhutan. This composite image, featured in NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day segment on June 18, reveals four immense jets captured within minutes of each other.

Gigantic jets are a rare and fascinating type of lightning discharge that have only been documented since the early 2000s. Unlike conventional lightning that occurs between clouds or strikes the ground, gigantic jets bridge the gap between thunderstorms and the Earth’s ionosphere, the layer of the atmosphere that is ionised by solar and cosmic radiation, NASA said.

Jets of lightning spotted over the Himalayas. Image: NASA/Li Xuanhua

These jets are unique in their appearance and behavior, differing significantly from traditional lightning phenomena.

ALSO SEE: Webb Telescope Photographs Baby Stars Burping Out Gases For The First Time

Despite their visual grandeur, the precise mechanisms and triggers behind gigantic jets are still under investigation. What is known is that these jets help to balance electrical charges between different layers of the Earth’s atmosphere, playing a crucial role in maintaining the atmospheric electrical circuit.

For those interested in observing this phenomenon, a powerful but distant thunderstorm viewed from a clear vantage point offers the best chance.

As these jets typically shoot upwards from the storm tops into the ionosphere, they can often be seen from hundreds of kilometers away under the right conditions.

ALSO SEE: NASA Shares First Cosmic Image Of 2024 And It’s Exploding With Stars



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