On Monday, the e-commerce behemoth Amazon announced its intention to invest as much as $4 billion into the artificial intelligence firm known as Anthropic, solidifying its position as a minority stakeholder in the company.
This strategic move underscores Amazon’s determined push into the world of artificial intelligence, as it strives to keep pace with formidable competitors such as Microsoft and Alphabet’s Google.
Anthropic, a company founded roughly two years ago by former executives from OpenAI, recently made waves with the debut of its latest AI chatbot, Claude 2.
Amazon is keen to harness the excitement and potential of generative AI, a category encompassing technologies like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Anthropic’s Claude chatbots.
In their joint announcement on Monday, the two companies revealed their collaborative effort to advance generative AI, with Anthropic selecting Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its primary cloud provider. Anthropic pledged to offer AWS customers early access to exclusive features for model customization and fine-tuning capabilities.
To bolster its AI applications, Anthropic will also employ customized semiconductors designed by AWS for training the foundational models that underlie its AI systems. Foundation models are extensive AI programs trained on vast datasets, enabling them to adapt to a wide array of tasks.
Notably, this year, chip manufacturer Nvidia has reaped significant rewards from the generative AI surge. Nvidia specializes in graphics processing units (GPUs), a type of semiconductor used for training large AI models. At one point, Nvidia’s stock had surged by over 200% due to its surpassing financial forecasts in response to the increasing adoption of AI.
In a sense, Amazon’s collaboration with Anthropic aims to showcase the availability of alternative chips for AI applications, potentially challenging Nvidia’s dominance.
AWS customers will have the opportunity to build upon Anthropic’s AI models via Amazon Bedrock, a service that enables customers to develop generative AI applications in the cloud using existing models instead of training their own.
Amazon seeks to establish itself as the comprehensive destination for AI solutions. The company designs its own chips for training extensive AI models and offers Amazon Bedrock for customers to create their own generative AI applications using existing models, all hosted on the Amazon cloud. Additionally, Amazon markets its own suite of AI applications.
Notably, Anthropic already boasts high-profile backers, including Google and Salesforce Ventures. This backing reflects the ongoing trend of tech giants making substantial investments in AI companies, a movement sparked by Microsoft’s multi-billion dollar investment in OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, in January.