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Alphabet’s Google has invested nearly $400 million (about Rs 3,299 crore) in artificial intelligence startup Anthropic, which is testing a rival to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Google and Anthropic declined to comment on the investment, but announced separate partnerships in which Anthropic will use Google’s cloud services. The deal marks the latest alliance between a tech giant and an artificial intelligence startup as the field of generative artificial intelligence — technology can generate text and art in seconds — heats up.

The deal gives Google a stake in Anthropic but does not require the startup to use the funds to buy cloud services from Google, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the terms are confidential.

“AI has evolved from academic research to one of the biggest drivers of technological change, creating new opportunities for growth and improved services across all industries,” Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said in a statement. We are providing an open infrastructure for the next generation of AI startups, and our partnership with Anthropic is a great example of how we help users and businesses harness the power of reliable and responsible AI.”

Founded in 2021 by former OpenAI leaders, including siblings Daniela and Dario Amodei, Anthropic AI released a limited test of a new chatbot called Claude in January to match OpenAI’s wildly popular ChatGPT competition.

Google’s partnership with Anthropic follows Microsoft’s high-profile $10 billion investment in OpenAI, which builds on the $1 billion the software giant poured into the AI ​​startup in 2019 and another in 2021. round of investment.

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Such alliances give more established companies like Microsoft and Google access to some of the most popular and advanced AI systems. In turn, startups like Anthropic need the funding and cloud resources a tech giant like Google can provide. In announcing the deal, Google said its cloud arm will provide computing power and advanced artificial intelligence chips that Anthropic plans to use to train and deploy its future artificial intelligence products.

Anthropic’s language model assistant, Claude, hasn’t been released to the public, but the startup says it plans to expand access to the chatbot “in the coming months.”

The deal underscores Google’s commitment to artificial intelligence, especially as it potentially expands beyond the company’s core search business. “I’m excited about the AI-driven leaps we’re about to make in search and beyond,” Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said Thursday as the company reported fourth-quarter earnings. He said Google intends to release chatbots “in the coming weeks and months” and allow consumers to use such products “as search companions.”

Google’s investment in Anthropic was earlier reported by the Financial Times.

© 2023 Bloomberg Intelligence

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