Amazon is getting into generative AI with a sizable $4 billion investment in Anthropic, a startup founded by several former executives from OpenAI, the makers of ChatGPT. Microsoft has ploughed $10 billion into OpenAI, while Google has been working on its own artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot.
This left Amazon, which made early inroads into the world of voice assistants with Alexa, without meaningful competition in the tech industry’s latest holy grail; AI.
Ready Player… Three?
Now, Amazon is playing catchup with the help of Antrhopic’s own chatbot (and $4 billion), which launched earlier this year – going by the name of Claude and garnering some decent feedback. A new version, Claude 2, is due out soon.
“We have tremendous respect for Anthropic’s team and foundation models, and believe we can help improve many customer experiences, short- and long-term, through our deeper collaboration,” said Amazon CEO, Andy Jassy.
The startup will obviously run on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform for the “majority of workloads” it says, giving AWS its own offering in this suddenly hot AI market. Google invested $300m in Anthropic last year, and the AI maker said it would use Google chips and cloud platforms to train its large language models (LLM), which are the underpinning of how generative AI works.
Anthropic’s CEO, Dario Amodei, pointedly mentioned how “safe” its technology is – given the many concerns about how generative AI “hallucinates” when it doesn’t have the answer.
“By significantly expanding our partnership, we can unlock new possibilities for organisations of all sizes, as they deploy Anthropic’s safe, state-of-the-art AI systems together with AWS’s leading cloud technology,” said Amodei, who is also a co-founder.
The AI race is taking off and Amazon is definitely in the running now.