- Anthropic, an AI startup founded by former OpenAI employees, has received an investment of $300 million from Google as it works on deploying Claude, a ChatGPT rival.
- Sam Bankman-Fried also made an investment of over $500 million in the startup 6 months before FTX collapsed.
- Tech giants continue to rival for the lead as the future of AI Technology unfolds.
Google Cloud has declared its partnership with Anthropic, an AI startup geared towards building safe AI. In addition, Google invested $300 million in the company, which Sam Bankman also funded about half a year before FTX collapsed. This move places Google among the tech giants that are putting money and computing resources into the budding field of generative AI.
This deal was first hinted at back in January by The New York Times, which stated that the sale would add about $1 billion to the company’s current value of $4 billion. Google will acquire a 10% share of the startup as part of the investment deal that the Financial Times clarifies is separate from the partnership deal. This investment adds to the company’s capital in its Series A fundraising round, where they raised $124 million, and Series B round, which gathered a total of $580 million.
Of the Series B amount, a vast majority (around $530 million) was raised by Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, who led this round, along with Caroline Ellison, former CEO of Alameda Research, Jim McClave, Nishad Singh, Jaan Tallinn, and the Center for Emerging Risk Research (CERR).
This has led to questions about whether this places Anthropic at risk of the funds being clawed back and used to settle FTX creditors.
On the partnership, Anthropic stated in an official statement that partnering would allow the two companies to work on building AI computing systems, adding that they would be using Google Cloud’s GPU and TPU clusters in the training, scaling, and deployment of its AI systems. Anthropic CEO Dario Amodei, said,
“We’re partnering with Google Cloud to support the next phase of Anthropic, where we’re going to deploy our AI systems to a larger set of people,” adding, “This partnership gives us the cloud infrastructure performance and scale we need.”
On the other hand, Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, tweeted on the partnership about which he said :
“Google Cloud is providing open infrastructure for the next generation of AI startups, and our partnership with Anthropic is a great example of how we’re helping users and businesses tap into the power of reliable and responsible AI.”
The AI Rivalry
Google and Microsoft are battling to see who eventually leads the future of AI technology. Microsoft began the race in 2019 when it made a $1 billion cash-for-computing investment in OpenAI. The tech giant then quietly added $2 billion in 2021, giving OpenAI more than enough resources to facilitate the development of great AI systems, which gave birth to ChatGPT. The launch of ChatGPT, a chatbot that ‘chats’ with consumers via text, late last year was so successful that it led to a “multiyear, multimillion-dollar” investment of $10 billion from Microsoft in January.
On the flip side, in 2021, a group of eleven researchers led by Dario Amodei and his sister Daniela Amodei left OpenAI due to the fear that Microsoft’s initial funding in OpenAI would steer it away from its core purpose, which is the safety of advanced AI and set it on a more commercial direction. The Amodei siblings then founded Anthropic, backed by their colleagues, and began to work on an intelligent chatbot named Claude, which is said to be a rival of ChatGPT. As Anthropic works on deploying Claude, this and every other system developed by Anthropic will now run on Google Cloud courtesy of the partnership.
Microsoft plans on integrating OpenAI’s systems into its product suite. This includes incorporating ChatGPT into Bing, which goes on to challenge Google’s supremacy as the best search engine.