Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Thursday, April 18, 2024

Amazon Invests Another $2.75 Billion Into Anthropic 

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The GenAI boom last year triggered a desperate scramble among tech companies to adopt the new technology. With such immense potential on the line, an AI arms race is underway. Amazon is spending billions as it looks to gain a competitive advantage.

As part of its plan to invest up to $4 billion in Anthropic, Amazon has just poured $2.75 billion into the AI startup. Last year in September, Amazon invested $1.25 billion. This concludes the $4 billion funding by Amazon, its largest investment in another company.

Anthropic is the AI company behind the Claude 3 models. Based on industry benchmarks conducted by Anthropic, Claude 3 Opus outperformed other popular AI models in the areas of reasoning, math, and coding.

Amazon and Microsoft have not yet developed GenAI models that can deliver the highest level of capabilities, and as a result, they have had to go through others, primarily Anthropic and OpenAI. The AWS deal was struck using Anthropic’s last valuation – $18.4 billion. While Amazon now maintains a minority stake in Anthropic, it won’t take a board seat, the company said.

“Anthropic’s visionary work with generative AI, most recently the introduction of its state-of-the-art Claude 3 family of models, combined with Amazon’s best-in-class infrastructure like AWS Tranium and managed services like Amazon Bedrock further unlocks exciting opportunities for customers to quickly, securely, and responsibly innovate with generative AI.” said Dr. Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of Data and AI at AWS.

Just this week, Claude 3 Opus became the first AI model to surpass GPT-4 on AI chatbot ranking. Now all three Claude 3 versions are in the top ten. The OpenAI platform topped the ranking for more than six months. Anthropic claims that Opus can outperform several other LLMs, most notably Google Gemini Ultra, which some experts believe is the most capable AI model.

Anthropic is reportedly looking to raise a further $750 million in a funding round led by Menlo Ventures. Over the past year, Anthropic has secured deals worth more than $7.3 billion. This includes major investment commitments from Google, Sapphire Ventures LLC, and Salesforce. Last week, AWS, Accenture, and Anthropic announced a partnership to help organizations scale AI responsibly.

Google is an equity holder in Anthropic, having pledged $300 million for a 10% stake in the AI startup. As part of the deal, Anthropic had agreed to use Google Cloud as their preferred cloud platform. However, with the latest deal with AWS, Anthropic will now be using Amazon’s cloud unit AWS as it’s primary provider for mission-critical workloads.

Another key element of the partnership is that Anthropic will use AWS Trainium and AWS Inferentia chips to build, train and deploy its future models, and collaborate with Amazon in the development of future Trainium and Inferential technology.

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