Amazon to invest up to £4 billion in Anthropic
The deal will see Anthropic move its software to Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers and utilize AWS’s chips to train its AI models.
Amazon.com Inc. has announced plans to invest up to $4 billion in Anthropic, a startup specialising in generative AI AI. This investment demonstrates Amazon’s confidence in Anthropic and its ambition to become a significant player in generative AI.
As part of the deal, Anthropic will shift most of its software to Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres and utilise AWS’s proprietary chips to train its AI models, which are used for chatbots and other applications. This partnership will grant Anthropic access to Amazon’s extensive computing power and provide the financial support necessary for training and running large-scale AI models.
The investment in Anthropic represents the largest known corporate deal directly related to AWS, showcasing Amazon’s commitment to catching up in the emerging field of generative AI. AWS, while being the world’s largest seller of on-demand computing power and data storage, has been perceived as lagging behind in the area of computer models trained to generate text, images, and other content. This investment positions Amazon to enhance its capabilities in generative AI.
One of the factors motivating this collaboration is the success of OpenAI, the creator of the ChatGPT model, which runs its software on Microsoft’s data centres through a $13 billion investment. This partnership has given Microsoft a strong foothold in generative AI, potentially driving Amazon’s interest in investing in Anthropic to bolster its own presence in the field.
While Amazon acknowledges that generative AI is still in its early stages, the company notes that over 100,000 customers have already utilised its machine-learning tools. Anthropic’s foundational model, called Claude, is available through an early-release Amazon service called Bedrock. The collaboration between AWS and Anthropic aims to not only improve customer experiences in the short and long term but also contribute to the advancement of generative AI technology.
Furthermore, this investment marks a significant milestone for Amazon’s in-house chip-making efforts. Amazon has developed Trainium and Inferentia processors designed specifically for powering machine-learning applications. Leveraging AWS chips for building and training future AI models strengthens Anthropic’s position as a valuable partner for Amazon’s chip-making venture.
Anthropic, founded by former OpenAI employees, has already raised more than $1 billion in funding, with Google investing nearly $400 million in the startup. This not only adds credibility but also highlights the potential impact of the partnership between Anthropic and AWS on the wider AI industry.