Anthropic: A Soaring Startup AI Sparking Controversy

Anthropic, a startup company in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) founded in 2021, is currently in the spotlight. Although not widely known yet, Anthropic has managed to raise a staggering $7.3 billion in just one year, with $750 million of it obtained in the last month.

Impressive Funding for Anthropic AI:

According to the New York Times, Anthropic is no longer officially seeking funding. However, investor enthusiasm for the company is extremely high. Stanford finance professor Ilya Strebulaev said, “If you miss out on the winner in this field, then you will be left behind.” This particularly applies to rapidly advancing new technologies such as AI, which have the potential to change the world.

Some giant technology investors who have injected funds into Anthropic include Amazon ($4 billion at the end of 2023) and Google ($2 billion). This month, Anthropic also secured $750 million from Menlo Ventures, a well-known venture capital firm in Silicon Valley.

Criticism of Anthropic’s Funding Scheme:

The funding of Anthropic from Amazon and Google has faced criticism due to its circular nature. Giant technology companies require Anthropic to use their cloud infrastructure as part of the unusual funding structure.

Skeptics argue that this investment is not entirely in the form of external cash flow because the money ultimately flows back to the investing companies. The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched an investigation in late January into Anthropic, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and OpenAI for potential anti-competitive practices.

FTC Chair Lina Khan explained, “Our investigation will uncover whether investments and partnerships made by dominant companies risk disrupting innovation and undermining healthy competition.”

Why is Anthropic AI So Attractive to Investors?

Anthropic generated approximately $8 million in revenue last year and is expected to experience “eightfold” revenue growth this year. This exponential growth is the main attraction for investors.

Another attraction is the two founders of Anthropic, Daniela Amodei and Dario Amodei. Previously developed the famous OpenAI ChatGPT model. They left OpenAI in 2019 due to differences in opinion about the company’s future direction.

Focus on Chatbot with a Security Approach:

Like many of its competitors, Anthropic’s business revolves around chatbot technology. In July 2023, Anthropic upgraded their main chatbot, Claude, to version 2. Anthropic distinguishes Claude from other competitor models by basing it on their “constitutional AI” approach.

Anthropic aims to ensure that the technology does not provide false information and remains both harmless and beneficial through a security-based process. They are reported to be using their billions of dollars in funding to finance the expensive computing power needed to run their AI.

Sam Altman aims to raise trillions of dollars to develop more powerful AI chips. Nvidia is also not lagging behind in its own efforts to develop AI chips.

Anthropic is predicted to continue to be in the spotlight. Their “constitutional AI” process aligns with regulatory efforts such as President Biden’s AI Security Institute. This is noteworthy because Anthropic is a rising AI startup.

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