Amazon announced on Monday that it will invest up to $4 billion into Anthropic — the AI startup best known for its Claude chatbot and founded by siblings Dario and Daniela Amodei who used to work for OpenAI.
This deal pales in comparison to the reported $13 billion that Microsoft has so far invested into OpenAI, the biggest name in generative AI technology right now, but that partnership has been blossoming since 2019. Nevertheless, it’s a clear sign that Amazon is staking its claim in the escalating AI arms race.
Anthropic says it’s Claude AI model is safer than rival AI services because it can revise its own responses without human moderation
Anthropic’s Claude and Claude 2 large language model–based chatbots are similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard in that they can translate text, write code, and answer various questions, but Anthropic says its model is safer and more reliable because it’s guided by a set of principles, allowing it to revise responses by itself instead of relying on human moderators. Claude is also able to respond to larger prompts which makes it well-suited for combing through longer business or legal documents.
As part of the deal, Amazon will gain minority ownership of the company and has agreed to incorporate Anthropic’s technology into various products across its business, including the Amazon Bedrock service for building AI applications. Anthropic will also use Amazon’s custom chips to build, train, and deploy its future AI foundation models, and has committed to using Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its primary cloud provider.
According to Reuters, Amazon has initially committed to a $1.25 billion investment, with an option to grow the investment by a further $2.75 billion. If it does reach that $4 billion total, Bloomberg reports that the deal will represent the largest known investment ever related to AWS, which is currently the world’s largest seller of on-demand computing power and data storage.
Google also has an interest in Anthropic, with a roughly 10 percent stake after making a $300 million investment in the AI startup earlier this year. According to Reuters, Anthropic is continuing its partnership with Google despite the new Amazon deal and is still planning to make its technology available via Google Cloud.