Amazon and Anthropic – Amazon Gets Serious about Generative AI
On September 25th, Amazon and Anthropic announced a strategic collaboration between the two companies with Amazon pledging to invest $1.25 billion in Anthropic upfront with an option of increasing this investment up to $4 billion. Amazon will acquire a minority stake in the up-and-coming artificial intelligence provider.
This partnership will go a long way to jump-start Amazon’s generative AI offerings which have been noticeably trailing offerings by Microsoft and Google.
Google and Anthropic—A Short Lived Romance
Google had invested $300 million in Anthropic at the end of last year in exchange for a 10% share of the company. In a separate agreement in February of this year, Anthropic announced that Google Cloud Platform (GCP) would be its preferred cloud provider.
It appeared that the partnership between the two companies was following in the footsteps of the one between Microsoft and OpenAI.
A short week after Anthropic’s announcement about GCP, Google held an event showcasing its AI capabilities with Google technology front and center and little to no mention of Anthropic. Then in April 2023, Google announced the merging of its two AI technology centers, DeepMind and Google Brain, to form Google DeepMind.
It seemed clear that Google was focusing its resources on internal development of its AI technology. This put Anthropic in the position of playing second-fiddle for Google or looking for another mega-cloud suitor to partner with.
Amazon and Anthropic
Anthropic has been working closely with Amazon, including providing its foundation model Claude for inclusion in the launch of Amazon Bedrock. Since its launch in early April, Anthropic has seen the adoption of Claude by AWS users accelerate significantly.
How Does This Benefit Anthropic?
With this deal, Anthropic will gain access to AWS’s AI compute infrastructure of Trainium and Inferentia chips to develop, train, and deploy its current and future foundation models. It will also get to collaborate with AWS on the development of future Trainium and Inferentia chip technology. This
How Does This Benefit Amazon?
Anthropic plans to run the majority of its workloads on AWS, leveraging Amazon’s AI compute infrastructure. Additionally, Anthropic will provide AWS customers easy access to its state-of-the-art foundation model through Amazon Bedrock as well as a long-term commitment for access to future generations of its models.
AWS customers with also get early access to unique features for model customization and fine-tuning capabilities.
This partnership places Amazon squarely on the same playing field with Microsoft and Google in the Generative AI Race.
What recently seemed to be a back-and-forth battle between two of the major cloud players with Generative AI has now expanded to three.
It will be interesting to see if Amazon is content with just providing Generative AI foundation models to its users or whether it will expand its AI offerings to compete against the likes of Microsoft Copilot and Google Duet.
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