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Amazon adds $2.75 billion to its stake in AI startup Anthropic| GuyWhoKnowsThings


Amazon saying on Wednesday that it had added $2.75 billion to its investment in Anthropic, a startup competing with companies like OpenAI and Google in the race to build cutting-edge artificial intelligence systems.

The investment comes six months after Amazon invested 1.25 billion dollars at Anthropic, making San Francisco startup Amazon Amazon's largest AI partner. Amazon said at the time that it had the option to raise its total investment to $4 billion. It had until the end of March to do so, according to financial documents.

Still, the additional investment shows the enormous resources that technology companies are investing in AI and is indicative of how much financial support Anthropic needs to keep pace with its peers.

“We believe our strategic collaboration with Anthropic will further enhance our customers' experiences and we look forward to what's next,” Swami Sivasubramanian, an Amazon executive, said in a blog post announcing the investment.

While Anthropic is closing in on Amazon, it has shed most of the stakes of a controversial investor. Last week, a federal judge approved bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX to sell its stake in Anthropic. In 2021, FTX invested 500 million dollars in the AI ​​startup, with a share of around 8 percent.

Since then, the value of that investment has skyrocketed. Anthropic valuation tripled to 15 billion dollars in just one year, The New York Times reported in February.

Anthropic was started in 2021 by a group of researchers from OpenAI, the company that created the ChatGPT chatbot. At the time, many of those researchers were concerned that OpenAI would move closer to Microsoft in a partnership that would eventually reach a value of $13 billion.

Anthropic has steadily increased Raised funds because developing the fundamental systems for generative AI requires a lot of money, both to hire staff and to secure computing power.

But Amazon's investment in Anthropic isn't just a simple equity stake. Like Microsoft's investment in OpenAI, it includes gaining access to AI systems and commitments to provide computing power. But it stops short of high-value acquisitions that could trigger an antitrust review. The Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigation to see if these types of large AI deals hinder competition.

In a key part of the partnership, Anthropic agreed to build its AI using specialized computer chips designed by Amazon. Amazon has said it hopes Anthropic will help in its efforts to meet the cutting-edge demands of AI, as well as collaborate on specialized chip designs.

Amazon also has an early opportunity to make Anthropic's AI models available to customers of its cloud computing service, and this month Announced It would provide access to the most powerful anthropic models, known as Claude 3.

The bankrupt FTX estate agreed to sell about two-thirds of its shares in the new company for $884 million. Most of the stake went to ATIC Third International Investment Co., a firm linked to a sovereign wealth fund in the United Arab Emirates.

Other buyers included quantitative trading firm Jane Street and the Ford Foundation, a philanthropic group. Darren Walker, president of the foundation, said in an interview that he saw Anthropic as a major competitor to OpenAI.

“The fact that Anthropic has emerged and is a strong competitor is a good thing for the markets, and it's a good thing for the public and the public interest,” Walker said.

David Yaffe Bellany contributed reports.


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