Amazon’s $4 Bn Investment in Anthropic Raises Ethical Concerns 

Anthropic has plans to raise $4 billion from Amazon, with an initial $1.25 billion for a minority stake in the AI company
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Anthropic has announced to raise $4 billion from Amazon, with an initial $1.25 billion for a minority stake in the OpenAI rival. As part of the agreement, Anthropic will use Amazon’s cloud computing platform and its AI chips to create its artificially intelligent language models. The deal is a shift away from Google, which invested $300 million in the AI hotshot last year. 

Earlier this year, Anthropic was valued at nearly $5 billion, according to inside information. Founded by ex-OpenAI sibling duo Dario and Daniela Amodel, the startup is a top OpenAI competitor raising huge funds this year, including Inflection AI, which raised $1.3 billion from Microsoft and Nvidia, and Cohere, which raised $270 million from Nvidia and others. 

The above startups gained popularity amid the explosive generative AI caused by OpenAI’s chatbot, ChatGPT and its foundational model, GPT-4. As huge sums of money is being funnelled down in these startups, concerns have been raised regarding the race to develop a bigger and better GPT-4’s competitor. In March 2023, several AI insiders and businessmen called for a temporary 6-month pause for companies building language models with capabilities higher than the existing model. 

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An AI safety advocate, Dan Hendrycks, whose work was cited in the open letter, recently told AIM that Anthropic was started solely as an alternative to OpenAI, which was not taking safety seriously enough. “Two years later, they did the same thing as OpenAI,” he added. 

“This shows that good intentions and people taking a risk seriously won’t be enough to counteract these extreme pressures on race,” he said. He suggested, “We should buy ourselves that ability or option and not just depend on the goodwill of these different companies.” 

For Amazon, an e-commerce giant, the latest deal marks its latest push to capitalise on the excitement around generative AI, akin to its long time competitors Microsoft and Google.

Read more: No, the Infamous 6-Month AI Pause Letter Wasn’t a Failure

Tasmia Ansari
Tasmia is a tech journalist at AIM, looking to bring a fresh perspective to emerging technologies and trends in data science, analytics, and artificial intelligence.

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