Google’s Surprise $300 Mn Bet in this ChatGPT Competitor

The investment, which took place in late 2022 but was not reported, gives Google a 10% stake in Anthropic.
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In an interesting turn of events, Alphabet’s subsidiary, Google, made a whopping $300 million investment in Anthropic, an AI safety and research company founded by former OpenAI employees, that is creating its LLM-based chatbot called Claude.

The investment, which took place in late 2022 but was not reported, gives Google a 10% stake in Anthropic. The latter needs to purchase cloud computing resources from Google, echoing Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI. This news follows Microsoft’s heavy $10 billion investment in OpenAI in 2022, a significant jump from its initial investment of $1 billion in 2019.

Anthropic has been building its language model assistant, Claude, which could compete with ChatGPT. Claude was built using “constitutional AI.” Currently, Claude is not accessible to the public, but Anthropic has plans to make it more widely available soon.

The Battle for AI Leadership: Microsoft-OpenAI Vs Google-Anthropic

Microsoft recently revealed its integration of ChatGPT into Teams, with plans to extend this to Bing, its search engine, creating immense competition for Google. However, it is still uncertain if Google has plans to integrate Claude into its services similarly.

It is a talk of the tech town that ChatGPT can make Google Search redundant. 

This speculation seems to have prompted a shift in Google’s strategy towards artificial intelligence and chatbots. Google even issued a ‘code red’ when  ChatGPT’s fame spread like wildfire. Breaking away from its traditional approach, Google is now accelerating its adoption of AI company-wide, according to a report by the NYT. Chief Sundar Pichai Google, has “invited” Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the company’s founders, to this new strategy. This marks a return to active involvement for the founders, four years after they stepped down from daily management responsibilities and entrusted the company to Pichai’s leadership.

Ex-OpenAI Team Walks in the Same Direction 

Dario Amodei, the ex-VP of research at OpenAI, his sister Daniela and a group of former OpenAI colleagues founded Anthropic in 2021. This decision was made due to a growing concern that Microsoft’s initial investment in OpenAI would shift its focus towards a more commercial path rather than prioritizing safe and responsible AI.

The irony of the situation cannot be ignored as the team that resigned from OpenAI due to concerns over its future direction with big tech, now finds themselves on a similar path with Google.

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Shritama Saha
Shritama is a technology journalist who is keen to learn about AI and analytics play. A graduate in mass communication, she is passionate to explore the influence of data science on fashion, drug development, films, and art.

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