Google's doin' their darndest to level the playing field.
Green Isn't Your Color
Two months after OpenAI's surprise ChatGPT release caused Google to issue an internal "code red," the search giant is finally making — or at least, doin' their darndest to make — big moves to catch up.
Coupled with the announcement that in the coming weeks the company will be releasing its own AI-powered search-oriented chatbot dubbed "Bard," Google has also invested a cool 300 million bones into the up-and-coming AI startup Anthropic, according to The Financial Times.
Per the FT, Google now has a 10 percent stake in the startup, to which Google will reportedly mostly be a technological and financial supplier. And though $300 million into Anthropic is small beans compared to rival Microsoft's mammoth $10 billion cash infusion into OpenAI, the investment certainly feels like a big statement.
OpenAI has a pretty serious headstart in the AI marketplace, achieved by bringing ChatGPT to the masses arguably too soon, without the precaution that the company was originally founded to protect. And unlike OpenAI, Anthropic's products are mostly under wraps, though it is known that an Anthropic-made chatbot called "Claude" passed a blindly-graded George Mason University law and economics exam — an impressive accomplishment, and one that may well make Anthropic a legitimate OpenAI rival.
It's no secret that Google's playing catchup right now. And from a business perspective, they should be.
Though Microsoft's Bing has long been the butt of the joke, Microsoft's decision to infuse ChatGPT — the fastest-growing app in history — into its search engine might just breathe new life into the platform. And search aside, it's generally just in Google's best interest, as a company that's been throwing its technological force behind AI projects for some time now, to get its own products into the AI arena before rival products' influences are too far cemented.
But regardless of how these next few weeks and months shake out for any of these companies involved, Google's choices, here, are significant, if only symbolically.
It's one thing for VCs, who throw a lot of money-shaped spaghetti at a lot of walls, to invest in AI as the next big thing; Google, one of the most powerful companies on Earth, looks a little desperate to level the AI playing field.
And in doing so, they're adding more fuel — in the form of more and better-funded competition — to the AI arms race fire.
READ MORE: Google invests $300mn in artificial intelligence start-up Anthropic [The Financial Times]
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