Amazon said on Monday that it’s investing up to $4 billion into the artificial intelligence company Anthropic in exchange for partial ownership and Anthropic’s greater use of Amazon Web Services (AWS), the e-commerce giant’s cloud computing platform.
The deepening partnership between the two companies highlights how some large tech firms with massive cloud computing resources are increasingly leveraging those assets to gain a bigger foothold in AI.
As part of the deal, AWS will become the “primary” cloud provider for Anthropic, with the AI company using Amazon’s cloud platform to do “the majority” of its AI model development and research into AI safety, the companies said. That will include using Amazon’s suite of in-house AI chips.
Anthropic also made a “long-term commitment” to offer its AI models to AWS customers, Amazon said, and promised to give AWS users early access to features such as the ability to adapt Anthropic models for specific use cases.
“With today’s announcement, customers will have early access to features for customizing Anthropic models, using their own proprietary data to create their own private models, and will be able to utilize fine-tuning capabilities via a self-service feature,” Amazon said in a release.
Anthropic already offers its models to AWS users through Amazon Bedrock, Amazon’s one-stop shop for AI products. Bedrock also provides access to models from other providers including Stability AI and AI21 Labs, along with proprietary models developed by Amazon itself.
In a release, Anthropic said that Amazon’s minority stake would not change its corporate governance structure nor its commitments to developing AI responsibly.
“We will conduct pre-deployment tests of new models to help us manage the risks of increasingly capable AI systems,” Anthropic said.
Amazon and Anthropic both made commitments to the Biden administration this year to conduct external audits of its AI systems before releasing them to the public.
Amazon’s investment in Anthropic follows similar moves by cloud leaders such as Microsoft. In 2019, Microsoft invested $1 billion in ChatGPT-maker OpenAI. More recently, Microsoft made a $10 billion investment in OpenAI this year and launched a push to bring OpenAI’s technology into consumer-facing Microsoft products, such as Bing.
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