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Entrance to the AWS London Summit 2024 at ExCel, with attendees pictured entering the conference centre.

(Image credit: ITPro/George Fitzmaurice)

The crowds are now pouring into the ExCel, and there is certainly a real buzz around the conference center ahead of the opening session.

The key talking points to watch out for today are likely to be the ongoing expansion of AWS infrastructure in the UK. The cloud computing giant has invested heavily in the country over the past two years alongside peers such as Microsoft and Google Cloud.

However, there hasn’t been much progress on this front in the last few months, so attendees and customers will no doubt be keen to hear about any developments during the opening.

It’s an impressive-looking stage for the AWS Summit London 2024, equipped with blaring speakers and festival-style lighting, as the crowd eagerly crowds ahead of the day’s keynotes.

AWS Summit London Stage

(Image credit: Future)

AWS went all out for London this year with this headliner!

AWS Summit London Stage

(Image credit: Future)

The AWS Summit kicks off with a bang and an exciting visual, full of forward-looking taglines – «let’s build what’s next» is the video’s parting message. First up is Tanuja Randery, EMEA Director at AWS as a… digital avatar?

The real Randery finally appears to lively clapping and cheering, continuing to talk about what’s in store for the day. Speed ​​of innovation seems to be key for Randery, and she also took a moment to shout out to the UK:

«We have invested 3 billion in building and operating data centers in the UK,» Tandery said proudly.

AWS Summit London Stage

(Image credit: Future)

Amazon Bedrock is coming to the London region

The first big announcement is that Amazon Bedrock is coming to the London region with the promise of unlocking huge benefits for UK businesses. Tandery says he wants every British company to have the chance to compete on the world stage as part of this latest announcement.

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Climate and digital skills

Tandery touches on the climate issue, talking about the benefits of the cloud for any business that wants to go green. Similarly, he talks about the importance of digital skills, talking about how AWS helps train IT workers.

AWS Restart, for example, is a twelve-week training program that Tandery cites, citing a particular student who excelled as part of the program.

It looks like AWS is keen to make a mark in the UK as a cloud provider for the future.

Next up is Francessca Vasquez, the company’s vice president of professional services. It takes us back in time, reviewing some of the most revolutionary inventions in human history, building on the current emergence of the cloud and generative artificial intelligence.

The mention of Amazon’s origins as an online retailer is a welcome reminder of how far the company has come, with Vasquez describing AWS as a «cloud pioneer.»

We’ve enabled customers to «transform the world around us,» she says, referring to some of the big names that rely on AWS like Netflix and Moderna.

AWS Summit London Stage

(Image credit: Future)

«We are on the verge of another tectonic change»

Generative artificial intelligence naturally had to be mentioned, as Vasquez moves on to talk about how new technology will shape the new world.

She mentions savings from Lonely Planet, which used Anthropic on Amazon Bedrock for its travel planning processing, and some scientific applications of AWS products at other companies.

Vasquez now invites Philip Belamant, co-founder and CEO of Zilch, on stage to discuss the company’s journey with AWS, who begins by talking about his money wasted on credit payments.

AWS Summit London Stage

(Image credit: Future)

This is the world’s first «AD-Subsidized-Payments Network»

He talks about Zilch’s mission, to free up money for customers through credit purchases. By connecting lending with ad networks, buyers can find companies that are willing to offer better credit in terms of purchases.

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«The client took out a line of credit and paid zero interest and zero fees,» he says.

This is the world’s first «AD-Subsidized-Payments-Network», says the co-founder of Zilcha.

And, in case you haven’t guessed, this platform is built on AWS, although Zilch plans to deepen its relationship with AWS in pursuit of new AI use cases, such as «predicting customer intent.»

Amazon SageMaker and Amazon Bedrock are at the center of this announcement.

Now, Vasquez is back on stage, once again talking about generative artificial intelligence and some of the pain points AWS customers have had in adopting the technology. She talks about the company’s «generative AI stack» and the provisions AWS has for customers to start taking advantage of AI.

While many in the room may not be building the underlying models, she says, AWS makes sure access to the power of these models is possible. AWS is also, apparently, «the best place to run GPUs in the cloud.»

«We invest the middle layer of the stack»

AWS invested in Bedrock to provide customers with an efficient environment for using and deploying artificial intelligence. As a fully managed service, Bedrock provides users with a simple and consistent approach to generative artificial intelligence.

«No one model is going to rule them all,» says Vasquez, explaining why AWS’s mission is so important in terms of providing all generative AI capabilities to anyone who needs them.

AWS Summit London Stage

(Image credit: Future)

Good data = good artificial intelligence

This is crucial, says Vasquez, since effective generative AI tools rely on vast and well-organized data sets to be fully exploited.

To illustrate this point, Vasquez plays a video about Adobe, which clearly has a great understanding of its data as a company. The key to transformation is data, Vasquez reiterates.

AWS Summit London Stage

(Image credit: Future)

«You can now use generatives on AWS» to have transformative impact, Vasquez says.

Next up is Pieter Jordaan, CIO at TUI, on stage to talk about how AWS helped the travel company develop its generative AI game.

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«The travel industry is incredibly dynamic,» says Jordaan. It requires companies to be adaptable – during COVID-19, for example, companies have to scale back their operations.

TUI was different though. During the COVID-19 pandemic, says Jordaan, TUI, among other things, went all-in on AWS in revising its native cloud platform.

AWS Summit London Stage

(Image credit: Future)

«We grew our model deployment on Amazon SageMaker by 1,000% in one year,» he says.

AWS has been TUI’s backbone for the generative adoption of artificial intelligence

Using Bedrock to manage the underlying models, TUI was able to use generative artificial intelligence to create effective SEO-focused content for personalized customer experiences. Amazon Bedrock gave us the «enterprise-ready» platform we needed to scale generative AI, says Jordaan.

Jordaan says TUI is also rolling out Amazon Q to its developers to increase efficiency.

Back to Vasquez, who has more to say about generative artificial intelligence. She talks about how customers want AI with speed and ease and without machine learning expertise.

Que Amazon Q, AWS’s artificial intelligence-powered generative assistant specifically designed to help at every stage of the development lifecycle.

AWS Summit London Stage

(Image credit: Future)

Vasquez talks the audience through some practical use cases, demonstrating via a visual display on the stage screen.

It strikes a good balance between «speed and efficiency,» she says, making generative AI easy to use even for the tech-savvy. Amazon certainly seems focused on giving Github Copilot a run for its money Gemini Code Assist.

Q is designed to provide «more accurate and relevant results», and with a few lines of code, augmented generation knowledge bases (RAGs) can be easily accessed. A client like BT Group is already seeing significant improvements from using Amazon Q, according to Vasquez.

«There’s never been a better time to be a builder»

This is a revolutionary moment in technology, Vasquez reiterates, and those who build on AWS are part of the exciting future that all this new technology promises. She ends her opening presentation with an inspiring question:

«What magic will you start and build?»

And on that note, the keynote is over and the throngs of people are leaving the hall to go and soak up the rest of AWS Summit London 2024.

AWS Summit London Stage

(Image credit: Future)

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