Alphabet Inc.’s Google has invested nearly $400 million in artificial intelligence startup Anthropic, which is testing a rival to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, according to a person familiar with the deal.
“AI has evolved from academic research to become one of the biggest drivers of technological change, creating new growth opportunities and better services across industries,” Thomas Kurian, chief executive of Google Cloud, said in a statement. “Google Cloud is providing open infrastructure for the next generation of AI startups, and our partnership with Anthropic is a great example of how we’re helping users and businesses harness the power of trusted and responsible AI.”
Founded in 2021 by former OpenAI Inc. leaders including siblings Daniela and Dario Amodei, Anthropic AI in January launched a limited trial of a new chatbot called Claude to rival OpenAI’s popular ChatGPT.
Such partnerships give more established companies like Microsoft and Google access to some of the most popular and advanced AI systems. Startups like Anthropic, in turn, need cloud computing funds and resources that a tech giant like Google can provide. In announcing the deal, Google said its cloud division would lend computing power and advanced AI chips that Anthropic plans to use to train and deploy its future AI products.
Anthropic’s language model assistant, Claude, has yet to be released to the public, but the startup said it planned to expand access to the chatbot “in the coming months.”
The deal underscores Google’s commitment to AI, particularly in ways that can expand beyond the company’s core search business. “I’m excited about the AI-powered leaps we’re about to reveal in Search and beyond,” Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said Thursday when the company reported fourth-quarter earnings. He said Google intended to launch chatbots “in the coming weeks and months” and allow consumers to use such products “as a companion for search.”
Google’s investment in Anthropic was previously reported by the Financial Times.