News came out that Alphabet Inc GOOGGOOGL unit Google is investing $300 million in a company that could be considered a rival to ChatGPT.
The investment could see Google positioning itself in the artificial intelligence race, but it might also come with some baggage.
What Happened: Google is investing $300 million in artificial intelligence company Anthropic. The investment is happening as AI news and companies are soaring in mention and valuation, helped by a $10 billion investment in ChatGPT parent company OpenAI by technology giant Microsoft Corp MSFT.
With the $300 million investment, Google will obtain around a 10% stake in Anthropic, according to Bitcoin.com.
Anthropic announced a partnership with Google Cloud on its website.
“We’re partnering with Google Cloud to support the next phase of Anthropic, where we’re going to deploy our AI systems to a larger set of people,” Anthropic CEO Dario Amodei said. “This partnership gives us the cloud infrastructure performance and scale we need.”
The potential baggage in the investment comes from the Series B funding round by Anthropic that saw the company raise $580 million from a series of investors.
According to Crunchbase, the Series B was led by FTX co-founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. Other investors listed for the company include Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda, and Nishad Singh, the former director of engineering at FTX.
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Why It’s Important: The use cases for artificial intelligence have risen and the strength of ChatGPT has led to a rise in valuation for other AI-related companies.
With Microsoft snagging a piece of OpenAI and looking to revamp its Bing search engine to take on market leader Google, it’s likely Google will play offense along with defense to maintain its market lead.
The investment by Google in a FTX-backed company could raise issues with those who have distanced themselves from the bankrupt cryptocurrency platform accused of stealing users’ funds. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that FTX used stolen money from holders and invested it in Anthropic, which Google is now hoping to use for its AI ambitions.
The investment and increased valuation of Anthropic could provide a bit of relief for FTX, with the original investment likely worth more than it is now. FTX could sell that stake and cash out on the original investment.
The question would become whether that money will go to former FTX account holders, those with claimed FTX debts or towards FTX launching new business ventures.
Along with investing in Anthropic, Google announced the introduction of Bard, a language model for dialogue applications, this week. The company said Bard will draw on information from the web and give high-quality responses.
“AI is the most profound technology we are working on today. Whether it’s helping doctors detect diseases earlier or enabling people to access information in their own language, AI helps people, businesses and communities unlock their potential,” Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said.
Google is likely not done with investments in AI companies, whether it comes from acquisitions or funding. Hopefully, the next one doesn’t have the same baggage.
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Photo: Sundry Photography via Shutterstock
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