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Oracle Corp., the software giant best known for its database technology, is joining the chorus of enterprise cloud vendors betting big on generative AI services.
On Monday, the company revealed it is developing a new cloud service with Foghere, a Toronto-based startup that specializes in building and training large language models (LLMs).
Oracle’s founder and chief technology officer, Larry Ellison, confirmed the partnership during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, where he reported strong growth in Oracle’s cloud business. Ellison said Oracle and Foghere were working together to make it easier for enterprise customers to train their own customized LLM using their private data while protecting their data privacy and security.
The news was rumored for a long time given the close relationship between the two companies. Just last week, Oracle was part of Cohere’s $270 million Series C funding round, which valued the startup at roughly $2.2 billion. Other investors in the round included Nvidia Corporation, Salesforce Ventures, Deutsche Telekom AG and SentinelOne Inc.
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“Fog and Oracle are working together to make it much easier for enterprise customers to train their own specialized large language models while protecting the confidentiality of their training data,” Ellison said on his company’s earnings call. ” “In the next few years, many companies are going to be training their own specialized big language models.”
Ellison revealed that Oracle’s own internal application development team is already using the new Foghey AI cloud service running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). Ellison said Oracle used his private data to fix and extend the existing Foghey LLM.
So far, Ellison said the supplemental training has led to two new specialty LLMs, one for medical professionals and one for first responders. While Oracle is well known for its database technology, it is also a big player in the healthcare sector, following its 2022 acquisition of healthcare giant Cerner.
“Specific large language models will be helpful in helping highly trained professionals use their valuable time more efficiently,” Ellison said.
Oracle is no stranger to the world of AI
While the service that comes with Cohere is new, Oracle is quite familiar with the world of AI. In fact, Ellison made sure to emphasize during the earnings call that Coheir is using Oracle Cloud for training for its LL.M.
Ellison said Oracle had an edge over its competitors because it had more experience and expertise in handling large amounts of data securely and efficiently. Other vendors have publicly disclosed that they use Oracle Cloud for training LLMs, including Adept AI Labs, which raised $350 million in March for a generative AI service using the software. Oracle also has a cloud AI partnership with Nvidia, which includes Nvidia GPU hardware and Nvidia helping with ongoing AI development using Oracle Cloud. All told, Ellison claimed Oracle Cloud for AI workloads is already a multi-billion business.
“In total, our Generative AI Cloud customers recently signed contracts to buy more than $2 billion of capacity in Oracle’s Gen2 Cloud,” Ellison said.
While the numbers are big and growing, Oracle still lags behind the big three hyper-scalers in the cloud business, which have their own generative AI services. Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced its Bedrock Generative AI services in April, Google has a host of services and models of its own that were recently updated at the I/O conference, and Microsoft has announced its collaboration with OpenAI. Strong partnership benefited.
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