Amazon bets big on AI announcing $4 billion Anthropic investment deal

AI for world domination. Remember, I was good to you Roomba.

Photo by Nik via Unsplash
Image by Nik via Unsplash

Amazon is the latest among the horde of billion-dollar tech companies to partner with up-and-coming AI solutions, announcing today it will invest up to $4 billion into Anthropic. You may know the AI start-up as OpenAI’s biggest rival, and it was founded by budding engineers and siblings, Dario and Daniela Amodei, who unsurprisingly, previously worked for the ChatGPT creator.

Anthropic’s Claude and Claude 2 large language model-based chatbots act in much the same way as ChatGPT and Google’s Bard in that they can provide natural, human-like responses and conversations based on what you ask it, as well as provide a form of assistance in various text-based tasks such as composing emails, essays, and code-writing.

The creator’s best describe their chatbot as a “friendly, enthusiastic colleague or personal assistant,” and claim a slight edge over its rivals because Claude 2 chatbot massively expands the context window from 9K to 100K tokens – that is, the number of tokens an AI model can take as input when generating responses – equating to about 75 thousand words. As a reference, OpenAI’s latest iteration, ChatGPT-4, can handle up to 32K tokens or about 42 thousand words, though thanks to Microsoft’s influence, the technology is increasing at a rapid pace and has reached a far wider audience in terms of real-world use.


That’s where Amazon comes in. According to the company, the $4 billion investment equates to a minority stake in Anthropic, and in turn, AWS customers will be able to gain access to use Claude 2 for a wide range of tasks, from dialogue and creative content generation, to customisation and fine-tuning capabilities in many of Amazon’s wide range digital products.

Of course, the deal goes both ways, and Amazon’s supply of AWS Trainium and Inferentia will aid the company in its future AI machine-learning endeavours.

“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 Amazon CEO Andy Jassy.

Anthropic has raised about $750 million in early private funding, of which $300 million was invested by Google to implement in Google Cloud. This remains the status quo despite the massive Amazon announcement.