Retail giant Amazon announced Monday that it’s making a major move into artificial intelligence through a $4 billion investment in AI company Anthropic.
The investment gives Seattle-based Amazon a minority ownership stake in Anthropic, Amazon said. It is unclear how the new tech might impact Amazon’s grocery businesses—Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go.
Amazon has already deployed AI technology at many of its brick-and-mortar stores through palm-recognition technology, smart shopping carts and so-called just-walk-out technology that allow customers to purchase items and leave the store without scanning items or making their way through a checkout lane.
The new partnership will enable Anthropic to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) Trainium and Inferentia chips to “build, train and deploy its future foundation models, benefitting from the price, performance scale and security of AWS," the retailer said.
Anthropic also will use AWS as its cloud provider and run most of its workloads on the platform. In turn, Amazon’s AWS customers will get access to Anthropic’s foundation models via Amazon Bedrock technology, enabling Amazon developers and engineers to incorporate generative AI into their work, the company said.
Anthropic's foundation model, known as Claude, is capable of sophisticated dialogue, creative content generation, complex reasoning and detailed instruction, and scores in the 90th percentile on the reading and writing portions of the GRE (Graduate Records Examination), the companies said.
Users have reported that the foundation model is “much less likely to produce harmful outputs, easier to converse with and more steerable compared to other foundation models …," the two companies said in a statement.
“We have tremendous respect for Anthropic’s team and foundation models, and believe we can help improve many customer experiences, short and long-term, through our deeper collaboration,” said Andy Jassy, Amazon CEO, in a statement. “Customers are quite excited about Amazon Bedrock, AWS’s new managed service that enables companies to use various foundation models to build generative AI applications on top of, as well as AWS Trainium, AWS’s AI training chip, and our collaboration with Anthropic should help customers get even more value from these two capabilities.”
Anthropic’s CEO and co-founder Dario Amodei said in a statement that the company is excited to use Amazon’s Trainium chips to develop more foundation models. “Since announcing our support of Amazon Bedrock in April, Claude has seen significant organic adoption from AWS customers,” Amodei said. “By significantly expanding our partnership, we can unlock new possibilities for organizations of all sizes, as they deploy Anthropic’s safe, state-of-the-art AI systems together with AWS’s leading cloud technology.”
Amodei co-founded Anthropic in February 2021, according to his LinkedIn profile, after spending four years with ChatGPT creator OpenAI.
Amazon did not reveal any supermarket chains using Anthropic’s tech via Amazon Bedrock, but it noted that the foundation model is being used by travel media company Lonely Planet, asset management firm Bridgewater Associates and information analytics company LexisNexis Legal & Professional.