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In 2021, Anthropic emerged as a trailblazing force in the realm of artificial intelligence, founded by former OpenAI senior members, the Amodei siblings, Daniela and Dario. Dario Amodei, who had served as OpenAI’s Vice President of Research, and others parted ways with OpenAI due to divergent views, particularly concerning OpenAI’s collaborations with Microsoft in 2019.

As the year 2022 drew to a close, Anthropic garnered significant attention by securing a staggering $700 million in funding. Alameda Research contributed $500 million, while Google’s cloud division invested $300 million for a 10% stake, necessitating Anthropic to acquire computing resources from Google Cloud. The momentum continued into May 2023, with a successful funding round led by Spark Capital, resulting in an additional $450 million in capital.

However, challenges surfaced for Anthropic in February 2023 when the company faced legal action from Anthrop LLC of Texas, asserting trademark infringement over the use of the term “Anthropic A.I.”

Media coverage painted Anthropic as the “Center of A.I. Doomerism,” with employees drawing parallels to modern-day Robert Oppenheimers, according to The New York Times’ Kevin Roose. The effective altruism movement has often been associated with Anthropic, given the involvement of some founders and team members in the community. Notably, the Series B round attracted investment from Sam Bankman-Fried, linked to the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX in 2022.

September 25, 2023, marked a significant development for Anthropic as Amazon announced a strategic partnership. Amazon became a minority stakeholder, investing up to $4 billion, including an immediate injection of $1.25 billion. In this collaboration, Anthropic designated Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its primary cloud provider and committed to making its AI models accessible to AWS customers. The subsequent month saw Google reinforcing its commitment to Anthropic, investing $500 million with a promise of an additional $1.5 billion over time.

Anthropic’s journey unfolds as a captivating narrative of ambition, challenges, and strategic partnerships, positioning the company at the forefront of AI innovation and collaboration in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

What is Claude?

Claude is an AI chatbot powered by Anthropic’s LLM, Claude 2. Developed by a group of ex-OpenAI employees, Anthropic prioritizes AI research with a strong emphasis on safety. Claude’s model, integrated into products like Notion AI, Quora’s Poe, and DuckDuckGo’s DuckAssist, was officially released in July 2023.

Though Claude 2 is not yet as capable as GPT-4, it is evolving rapidly and outperforming many other AI models on standardized tests.

How to Try Claude?

Claude, driven by the latest Claude 2 model, is available through an open beta in the U.S. and U.K. Anthropic plans to expand global access later. Interested users can sign up at Claude.ai and start a conversation or use default prompts. Anthropic also introduced a Claude Pro option for high-traffic times and additional features.

Differentiation from Other AI Models

While all AI models are susceptible to bias and inaccuracies, Anthropic focuses on creating a “helpful, harmless, and honest” LLM with meticulous safety guardrails. This approach includes unique elements:

1. Constitutional AI: Anthropic employs a second AI model, Constitutional AI, alongside human fine-tuning. This model incorporates principles from the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights and Apple’s terms of service, emphasizing clarity and easy amendment.

2. Red Teaming: Anthropic conducts extensive red teaming during the pre-release process to provoke responses from Claude that challenge its benevolent guardrails. This data informs safety mitigations.

3. Public Benefit Corporation: Anthropic’s status as a public benefit corporation allows it to prioritize decisions for public benefit rather than purely financial gain, giving it more flexibility to focus on safety.

In conclusion, Anthropic’s Claude 2 presents a significant advancement in AI safety within a competitive landscape, demonstrating the company’s commitment to responsible AI development.