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Amazon to Invest Billions in OpenAI Rival Anthropic

Generative AI startup Anthropic inked a long-term deal with Amazon, and AWS will become the company’s official cloud and computing chip provider.

Big Tech and e-commerce giant Amazon announced that it will invest up to $4 billion in generative artificial intelligence startup Anthropic as part of a larger strategic collaboration.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) will become Anthropic’s primary cloud provider, and Amazon is taking on a minority ownership stake in the two-year-old AI company. Launched in 2021 by former OpenAI research executives, Anthropic is a San Francisco-based AI safety and research company building AI systems. The company’s flagship product, Claude, launched in March as a generative AI assistant primarily focusing on sharing helpful and harmless information.

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There are many moving parts in Amazon and Anthropic’s new partnership. One of which is that Anthropic has agreed to use custom AWS chips to build, train, and deploy its AI models. The companies will also collaborate on future computing chip developments. Since Anthropic is building on the AWS infrastructure, AWS customers can build with Anthropic’s AI offerings through Amazon Bedrock, the e-commerce firm’s platform that lets its customers safely build cloud-based generative AI applications using existing AI models on the market. Amazon developers and engineers can access Anthropic’s AI models via Amazon Bedrock as well.

Anthropic has been an AWS customer since its inception in 2021, though the company did have a deal with Google that it announced earlier this year. That deal came with up to $400 million in funding and a cloud computing partnership. It’s unclear if Athropic is still partnering with Google to use the Big Tech company’s cloud computing services, but the AI startup officially closed its $450 million Series C in June, and Google was named as a top investor in the funding round.

The race for AI has been on, but all eyes aren’t just on OpenAI and ChatGPT anymore, with various competitors popping up on the market. Anthropic’s decision to go with Amazon’s computer chips as opposed to the typical choice, Nvidia, also shows that there are alternatives in the AI market.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon is kicking off its partnership with Anthropic with an initial investment of $1.25 billion, but the $4 billion cap will likely be hit over time.

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