Amazon is buying itself and its customers’ priority access to Anthropic’s foundational models.
As Amazon announced in a press release, the online retailer and cloud provider plans to invest up to four billion US dollars in the AI startup Anthropic. Amazon has thus secured an important partner in the field of generative AI. Anthropic is best known for its chatbot Claude, which competes with OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Anthropic moves to the AWS cloud
In return, Anthropic will move much of its software to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure. The startup’s future AI models will be trained using Amazon’s own Trainium and Inferentia chips.
Amazon and Anthropic have had a business relationship since at least April 2023. As part of “Bedrock,” Amazon offers large enterprises a way to fine-tune language models with their own data. Claude is one of the LLMs for this service. As part of the agreement, AWS customers will have earlier access to new model customization and fine-tuning capabilities.
For Amazon, the deeper partnership primarily means access to Anthropic’s AI models and chatbots like Claude. In return, the startup will receive computing power and funding to further develop its AI. Amazon is securing a minority stake in the company, which was just founded in 2021 and closed a $450 million funding round in May.
Amazon is currently making great strides in the field of AI. Recently, the US company unveiled an LLM version of its Alexa voice assistant. It had previously announced plans for AI-generated summaries of customer reviews.
Big Tech’s race for AI dominance
The Amazon-Claude collaboration is another step in Big Tech’s race for leadership in generative AI. While Microsoft is partnering with OpenAI and investing at least $10 billion for a majority stake, Amazon has lacked a super high-profile partnership in this space until now.
In addition to Anthropic, Amazon has been supporting the Hugging Face code repository since February 2023 to make AI models more accessible to more people. However, the in-house HuggingChat cannot keep up with the commercial competition. Meta and Google are focusing on building their own teams and models.