AWS Pi Day 2024: Use your data to power generative AI

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Today is AWS Pi Day! Join us live on Twitch, starting at 1 PM Pacific time.

On this day 18 years ago, a West Coast retail company launched an object storage service, introducing the world to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). We had no idea it would change the way businesses across the globe manage their data. Fast forward to 2024, every modern business is a data business. We’ve spent countless hours discussing how data can help you drive your digital transformation and how generative artificial intelligence (AI) can open up new, unexpected, and beneficial doors for your business. Our conversations have matured to include discussion around the role of your own data in creating differentiated generative AI applications.

Because Amazon S3 stores more than 350 trillion objects and exabytes of data for virtually any use case and averages over 100 million requests per second, it may be the starting point of your generative AI journey. But no matter how much data you have or where you have it stored, what counts the most is its quality. Higher quality data improves the accuracy and reliability of model response. In a recent survey of chief data officers (CDOs), almost half (46 percent) of CDOs view data quality as one of their top challenges to implementing generative AI.

This year, with AWS Pi Day, we’ll spend Amazon S3’s birthday looking at how AWS Storage, from data lakes to high performance storage, has transformed data strategy to becom the starting point for your generative AI projects.

This live online event starts at 1 PM PT today (March 14, 2024), right after the conclusion of AWS Innovate: Generative AI + Data edition. It will be live on the AWS OnAir channel on Twitch and will feature 4 hours of fresh educational content from AWS experts. Not only will you learn how to use your data and existing data architecture to build and audit your customized generative AI applications, but you’ll also learn about the latest AWS storage innovations. As usual, the show will be packed with hands-on demos, letting you see how you can get started using these technologies right away.

AWS Pi Day 2024

Data for generative AI
Data is growing at an incredible rate, powered by consumer activity, business analytics, IoT sensors, call center records, geospatial data, media content, and other drivers. That data growth is driving a flywheel for generative AI. Foundation models (FMs) are trained on massive datasets, often from sources like Common Crawl, which is an open repository of data that contains petabytes of web page data from the internet. Organizations use smaller private datasets for additional customization of FM responses. These customized models will, in turn, drive more generative AI applications, which create even more data for the data flywheel through customer interactions.

There are three data initiatives you can start today regardless of your industry, use case, or geography.

First, use your existing data to differentiate your AI systems. Most organizations sit on a lot of data. You can use this data to customize and personalize foundation models to suit them to your specific needs. Some personalization techniques require structured data, and some do not. Some others require labeled data or raw data. Amazon Bedrock and Amazon SageMaker offer you multiple solutions to fine-tune or pre-train a wide choice of existing foundation models. You can also choose to deploy Amazon Q, your business expert, for your customers or collaborators and point it to one or more of the 43 data sources it supports out of the box.

But you don’t want to create a new data infrastructure to help you grow your AI usage. Generative AI consumes your organization’s data just like existing applications.

Second, you want to make your existing data architecture and data pipelines work with generative AI and continue to follow your existing rules for data access, compliance, and governance. Our customers have deployed more than 1,000,000 data lakes on AWS. Your data lakes, Amazon S3, and your existing databases are great starting points for building your generative AI applications. To help support Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG), we added support for vector storage and retrieval in multiple database systems. Amazon OpenSearch Service might be a logical starting point. But you can also use pgvector with Amazon Aurora for PostgreSQL and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for PostgreSQL. We also recently announced vector storage and retrieval for Amazon MemoryDB for Redis, Amazon Neptune, and Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility).

You can also reuse or extend data pipelines that are already in place today. Many of you use AWS streaming technologies such as Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK), Amazon Managed Service for Apache Flink, and Amazon Kinesis to do real-time data preparation in traditional machine learning (ML) and AI. You can extend these workflows to capture changes to your data and make them available to large language models (LLMs) in near real-time by updating the vector databases, make these changes available in the knowledge base with MSK’s native streaming ingestion to Amazon OpenSearch Service, or update your fine-tuning datasets with integrated data streaming in Amazon S3 through Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose.

When talking about LLM training, speed matters. Your data pipeline must be able to feed data to the many nodes in your training cluster. To meet their performance requirements, our customers who have their data lake on Amazon S3 either use an object storage class like Amazon S3 Express One Zone, or a file storage service like Amazon FSx for Lustre. FSx for Lustre provides deep integration and enables you to accelerate object data processing through a familiar, high performance file interface.

The good news is that if your data infrastructure is built using AWS services, you are already most of the way towards extending your data for generative AI.

Third, you must become your own best auditor. Every data organization needs to prepare for the regulations, compliance, and content moderation that will come for generative AI. You should know what datasets are used in training and customization, as well as how the model made decisions. In a rapidly moving space like generative AI, you need to anticipate the future. You should do it now and do it in a way that is fully automated while you scale your AI system.

Your data architecture uses different AWS services for auditing, such as AWS CloudTrail, Amazon DataZone, Amazon CloudWatch, and OpenSearch to govern and monitor data usage. This can be easily extended to your AI systems. If you are using AWS managed services for generative AI, you have the capabilities for data transparency built in. We launched our generative AI capabilities with CloudTrail support because we know how critical it is for enterprise customers to have an audit trail for their AI systems. Any time you create a data source in Amazon Q, it’s logged in CloudTrail. You can also use a CloudTrail event to list the API calls made by Amazon CodeWhisperer. Amazon Bedrock has over 80 CloudTrail events that you can use to audit how you use foundation models.

During the last AWS re:Invent conference, we also introduced Guardrails for Amazon Bedrock. It allows you to specify topics to avoid, and Bedrock will only provide users with approved responses to questions that fall in those restricted categories

New capabilities just launched
Pi Day is also the occasion to celebrate innovation in AWS storage and data services. Here is a selection of the new capabilities that we’ve just announced:

The Amazon S3 Connector for PyTorch now supports saving PyTorch Lightning model checkpoints directly to Amazon S3. Model checkpointing typically requires pausing training jobs, so the time needed to save a checkpoint directly impacts end-to-end model training times. PyTorch Lightning is an open source framework that provides a high-level interface for training and checkpointing with PyTorch. Read the What’s New post for more details about this new integration.

Amazon S3 on Outposts authentication caching – By securely caching authentication and authorization data for Amazon S3 locally on the Outposts rack, this new capability removes round trips to the parent AWS Region for every request, eliminating the latency variability introduced by network round trips. You can learn more about Amazon S3 on Outposts authentication caching on the What’s New post and on this new post we published on the AWS Storage blog channel.

Mountpoint for Amazon S3 Container Storage Interface (CSI) driver is available for Bottlerocket – Bottlerocket is a free and open source Linux-based operating system meant for hosting containers. Built on Mountpoint for Amazon S3, the CSI driver presents an S3 bucket as a volume accessible by containers in Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) and self-managed Kubernetes clusters. It allows applications to access S3 objects through a file system interface, achieving high aggregate throughput without changing any application code. The What’s New post has more details about the CSI driver for Bottlerocket.

Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) increases per file system throughput by 2x – We have increased the elastic throughput limit up to 20 GB/s for read operations and 5 GB/s for writes. It means you can now use EFS for even more throughput-intensive workloads, such as machine learning, genomics, and data analytics applications. You can find more information about this increased throughput on EFS on the What’s New post.

There are also other important changes that we enabled earlier this month.

Amazon S3 Express One Zone storage class integrates with Amazon SageMaker – It allows you to accelerate SageMaker model training with faster load times for training data, checkpoints, and model outputs. You can find more information about this new integration on the What’s New post.

Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP increased the maximum throughput capacity per file system by 2x (from 36 GB/s to 72 GB/s), letting you use ONTAP’s data management features for an even broader set of performance-intensive workloads. You can find more information about Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP on the What’s New post.

What to expect during the live stream
We will address some of these new capabilities during the 4-hour live show today. My colleague Darko will host a number of AWS experts for hands-on demonstrations so you can discover how to put your data to work for your generative AI projects. Here is the schedule of the day. All times are expressed in Pacific Time (PT) time zone (GMT-8):

  • Extend your existing data architecture to generative AI (1 PM – 2 PM).
    If you run analytics on top of AWS data lakes, you’re most of your way there to your data strategy for generative AI.
  • Accelerate the data path to compute for generative AI (2 PM – 3 PM).
    Speed matters for compute data path for model training and inference. Check out the different ways we make it happen.
  • Customize with RAG and fine-tuning (3 PM – 4 PM).
    Discover the latest techniques to customize base foundation models.
  • Be your own best auditor for GenAI (4 PM – 5 PM).
    Use existing AWS services to help meet your compliance objectives.

Join us today on the AWS Pi Day live stream.

I hope I’ll meet you there!

— seb

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