Google Cloud Deepens Anthropic Partnership as Generative AI Tug-of-War With AWS Intensifies
Google Cloud and Anthropic officially announced that the generative AI startup will deploy Google Cloud’s TPU v5e AI accelerator at scale, among other collaborations. TPU v5e will power Anthropic’s Claude large language model (LLM), a win for Google in the generative AI cloud computing competition against rivals like AWS and Microsoft Azure.
Anthropic in Google Cloud
Anthropic already runs one of the largest clusters on Google’s Kubernetes Engine. Now, the startup will be among the first adopters of the new Cloud TPU v5e processor designed for training and running demanding generative AI models. Google said the chip provides superior cost-efficiency and performance versus previous generations. The closer integration follows the news that Google will invest up to $2 billion in Anthropic, which may include some of the technological integrations. Anthropic’s funding and TPU plans became public just weeks after Amazon announced its own plan to invest up to $4 billion in the startup.
“Anthropic and Google Cloud share the same values when it comes to developing AI–it needs to be done in both a bold and responsible way,” Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said. “This expanded partnership with Anthropic, built on years of working together, will bring AI to more people safely and securely, and provides another example of how the most innovative and fastest growing AI startups are building on Google Cloud.”
The escalating backing of Anthropic by AI’s leading commercial players seems poised to make it the foremost OpenAI alternative. Amazon and Google have their own large language models, but neither has gained as much enthusiasm from cloud customers as what OpenAI has made exclusive to Microsoft Azure. With OpenAI adoption booming on Azure, rivals Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud risk missing out if they lack access to a preferred large language model. Some companies are even trying Azure solely for OpenAI access, which can lead to shifting additional workloads. Anthropic’s AI foundation model aims to power thousands of enterprise applications. So, as generative AI continues as a proxy war for the cloud computing market, Amazon and Google both may see Athropic as a way to maintain their place in the field.
It’s not just Google and Amazon eager to work with Anthropic. The startup raised $100 million from SK Telecom in August, which came after a $450 million round in May. That money has helped fuel the rapid development of new and improved variations of Claude and its LLMs, such as the 100,000 token context window expansion for its chatbot. The company also updated the smaller and faster version of its Claude AI model in August with the debut of Claude Instant 1.2. Claude Instant 1.2 brings in some of the enhancements added to the larger and more powerful Claude 2 model released in July. Anthropic showed at least one direct revenue plan in September when it began offering a paid version of Claude called Claude Pro. The $20 per month chatbot offers quintupled usage and faster access compared to Claude’s free service. Anthropic may not be completely tied down to Google when it comes to scaling its generative AI capacity, but Amazon and any other alternative will have an uphill struggle.
“Our longstanding partnership with Google is founded on a shared commitment to develop AI responsibly and deploy it in a way that benefits society,” explained co-founder and CEO of Anthropic Dario Amodei. “We look forward to our continued collaboration as we work to make steerable, reliable and interpretable AI systems available to more businesses around the world.”