The Busy Brains
27 Sept 2023
Amazon’s strategic partnership with AI startup Anthropic underscores its commitment to AI development and safety
E-commerce giant Amazon.com has unveiled a strategic investment of up to $4 billion in Anthropic, an AI startup, signaling a major move to bolster its presence in generative artificial intelligence. This partnership, as reported by Bloomberg, involves not only a substantial financial commitment but also grants Anthropic access to Amazon’s formidable computing power.
This significant $4 billion investment in Anthropic underscores Amazon’s determination to strengthen its position in the AI arena. While the immediate financial impact on Amazon’s cloud-services unit may not be pronounced, it signifies the company’s resolve to compete with industry leaders, especially Microsoft, in the field of artificial intelligence.
Anthropic, founded by experts from OpenAI, has gained substantial attention and funding with its mission to develop AI systems prioritizing safety and reliability. The startup is focused on creating chatbots and AI applications capable of tasks such as summarization, search, question-answering, and coding, all with a strong emphasis on safety. It's worth noting that Google, a major tech industry player, previously invested nearly $400 million in Anthropic, highlighting the broad interest in the company’s vision for AI safety.
Beyond the financial investment, this partnership will significantly impact Amazon’s in-house chipmaking endeavors. Amazon has been actively working on its own processors, including Trainium and Inferentia, designed to power machine learning applications. With this collaboration, Anthropic will utilize AWS chips to develop and train foundational models for future AI applications, marking a mutually beneficial approach to advancing both companies’ AI capabilities.
Amazon’s CEO Andy Jassy has expressed excitement about the collaboration, stating that it "can help improve many customer experiences, short- and long-term, through our deeper collaboration.” He also highlighted Amazon’s enthusiasm for AWS’s new managed service, Amazon Bedrock, which allows companies to use various foundation models for building generative AI applications. Jassy emphasized that the partnership with Anthropic would further enhance the value delivered to customers through services like Amazon Bedrock and AWS Trainium, the AI training chip.