Google and Microsoft continue to be at odds over tech’s future AI. Microsoft remains tightly tied to ChatGPT creator OpenAI. However, Google might have turned to an obscure company founded by former OpenAI researchers named ‘Anthropic.’
The Financial Times reported that Google had invested $300 million in the startup in late 2022. However, the news was not widely reported at the time. The FT reports that Google received a 10% stake in the company. Anthropic will then be required to purchase cloud computing resources from Google.
This dynamic is similar to that between Microsoft and OpenAI. OpenAI is responsible for the research, and Microsoft provides access to its vast cloud platform. This allows Microsoft to train the most complex AI models.
Anthropic is developing its chatbot called Claude. This could be a rival to ChatGPT. Claude is currently in closed beta. However, you can see a comparison between ChatGPT and Claude here.
It’s unclear if Google will integrate Claude into their services as Microsoft does with ChatGPT. Google already has a lot of expertise in developing AI language systems. FT suggests that one reason for the deal may be to build up Google’s cloud computing business.
It is also relevant to know the backstory of Anthropic’s creation. Dario Amodei (ex-Vice President of Research at OpenAI) created the organization in 2021 as an open-source corporation. Amodei brought many OpenAI researchers, including Tom Brown (lead engineer for AI model GPT-3). Amodei left OpenAI after a dispute over the company’s direction. This was primarily due to the increased commercial focus of the company following its deal with Microsoft in 2019.
OpenAI’s actions have been criticized by many AI researchers, especially its release of ChatGPT onto the public internet late last year without adequate safeguards or software capable of reliably detecting its output. On the other hand, Anthropic emphasizes its efforts to build “reliable and interpretable AI systems.”
Will Google’s investment impact these priorities? We can still expect to hear more information about Google’s AI future. Next week, the company will hold an event to discuss this topic. We’ll be hearing more from Microsoft soon about its plans for ChatGPT Bing.