Google Keeps Pace in AI Race by Investing $2 Billion in Anthropic – UC Today

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Anthropic had also recently secured a $4 billion investment from Amazon
Published: October 31, 2023
Kieran Devlin
Google has invested $2 billion in generative AI startup Anthropic to help maintain the pace of AI innovation with competitor tech giants.
A Google spokesperson outlined that the business invested $500 million upfront into Anthropic, with an agreement to add $1.5 billion more over time. Google had already been an Anthropic investor, having committed hundreds of millions to own a ten percent stake in April. Notably, these figures sometimes partially comprise cloud services instead of cash.
However, this recent investment round signals the company’s ambition to double down on AI’s potentially transformative impact on its products and services.
Anthropic is an AI business co-founded by former OpenAI executives (and brother and sister duo) Dario and Daniela Amodei. It is also a rival to ChatGPT creator OpenAI, which Microsoft committed to with a $13 billion investment earlier this year.
Anthropic is the startup behind Claude 2, a competitor chatbot to ChatGPT. Claude excels at different tasks, such as mature dialogue, elaborate content generation, complex reasoning, and detailed instruction. This is successful while maintaining a dependable and accurate end product.
Claude 2 is pitched as superior to ChatGPT by Anthropic’s backers, and the chatbot can summarise about 75,000 words, while ChatGPT can parse roughly 3,000. Users can input giant data sets into Claude 2 and request summaries in a memo, letter or story format.
Amazon committed a $4 billion investment to Anthropic in September, which included a strategic partnership to open up its AI models to its AWS customer base and a minority ownership position. The strategic collaboration intended to leverage both businesses’ expertise to develop safer generative AI, accelerate the development of Anthropic’s future foundation models, and have them accessible to AWS customers.
“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 Andy Jassy, Amazon CEO.
AWS and Anthropic are currently contributing resources to aid AWS customers in getting started with Anthropic’s foundational models Claude and Claude 2 on Amazon Bedrock through the AWS Generative AI Innovation Centre. This centre includes teams of AI experts who will assist customers of all scales in developing innovative, generative AI-powered products to revolutionise their businesses.
Zoom also invested in Anthropic earlier this year via Zoom Investments to build sophisticated and reliable AI systems. The collaboration sought to improve  Zoom’s federated approach to AI by integrating Anthropic’s Claude with Zoom’s collaborative platform. Zoom Contact Centre was the first solution to be integrated with Claude.
“Anthropic’s Constitutional AI model is primed to provide safe and responsible integrations for our next-generation innovations, beginning with the Zoom Contact Center portfolio,” Smita Hashim, Chief Product Officer for Zoom With Claude guiding agents toward trustworthy resolutions and powering self-service for end-users, companies will be able to take customer relationships to another level.”
Google’s generative AI ChatGPT rival, Bard, opened access in March this year.
Powered by a research large language model (LLM), Bard is a predictive engine that produces responses to prompts by selecting the words most likely to be used in conversation, as with ChatGPT. Google billed Bard as a way to “boost your productivity, accelerate your ideas, and fuel your curiosity” and could complement Google Search. Bard also included a “Google it” button so that users can enquire for more answers through Google’s search engine.
As a critical differentiator from the current, free version of ChatGPT — which has its information limited to a December 2021 deadline — Bard uses the internet to keep its information up to date and can cite the sources it extracts from.
Duet AI for Google Workspace, Google’s generative AI productivity tool for its Workspace collaboration platform, also became generally available this summer. Duet AI aims to streamline workflows by offering meeting assistance, document and conversation summaries, a chatbot for Google Chat, and personalised suggestions for Gmail responses.
Last month, it became apparent that Google was approaching the release of its intended AI-powered GPT-4 competitor, Gemini. Gemini is a series of LLMs that can operate chatbots, summarise text or generate original text based on what users like to read, such as email drafts or news stories. It also promises to assist software developers in writing code.
Positioned as Google’s flagship AI, the company has claimed that Gemini has five times greater computational power than GPT-4. Google is presenting Gemini as a direct competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4 and is trained on Google’s advanced TPUv5 chips, which can work with an impressive 16,384 chips simultaneously.
Despite these compelling solutions and significant investments, parent company Alphabet published its Q3 2023 financial results last week, which outlined that Google Cloud had fallen behind its revenue estimate. Google Cloud’s revenue was $8.41 billion, up 22 percent, but analysts predicted it would scoop $8.64 billion largely because of how promising its AI investments had been.
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