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Google invests $2 billion in Anthropic AI amid regulatory and legal uncertainty: report

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) has pledged to invest up to $2 billion in artificial intelligence (AI) firm Anthropic, increasing its position in the company as the race to lead the market share heats up.

According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report, Google has already injected $500 million into Anthropic, with a balance of $1.5 billion expected to be invested over the coming months.

Both Google Cloud and Anthropic have previously inked a multiyear partnership worth around $3 billion. Google’s decision to invest in the company—a competitor to its rival OpenAI—has been construed as an elaborate plan to bolster its position in the global AI race.

Others point to Google Cloud’s dwindling revenue and the need to search for new revenue streams as a motivating factor for ramping up investment in an AI rival. Google has its own generative AI model dubbed Bard—the fourth competitor in the AI race involving Anthropic, Meta, and OpenAI.

In addition to Google, Anthropic has been racking up investments from several firms, sending its valuation to new highs. In September, e-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZNannounced a $4 billion investment in the AI firm, taking up a minority stake in the company.

Details of the investment agreement note that Anthropic will be granted access to Inferentia chips and Amazon Web Services (AWS) Tranium, with the AI developer offering support for Amazon’s Bedrock.

In August, Anthropic received a capital injection of $100 million from South Korean telecommunications firm SK Telecom. The company has previously received funds from the beleaguered FTX back in 2022, with creditors eying Anthropic’s soaring valuation as a repayment option.

For Anthropic, the investments provide the needed funds to ramp up its development of advanced AI models to compete with other industry topshots. The company has been improving Claude—a large language model (LLM) chatbot with advanced functionalities while testing the waters with other products.

“It’s a really unusual time from a business perspective because there’s just so much demand for large language models and really more demand than the industry can currently provide,” said OpenAI Founder Daniel Amodei.

Legal troubles

Anthropic AI has been in the middle of a legal thunderstorm after several music publishers took the company to court over claims of copyright infringement. Universal Music Group (UMG), Concord Publishing, and ABKCO Music & Records form part of a long list of aggrieved plaintiffs alleging that Anthropic used copyrighted song lyrics to train its model.

“Unlike songwriters, who are creative by nature, Anthropic’s AI models are not creative – they depend entirely on the creativity of others,” read the filing. “Yet, Anthropic pays nothing to publishers, their songwriters, or the countless other copyright owners whose copyrighted works Anthropic uses to train its AI models”

AI firms have been in the thick of things over the impact of their products on Web3, education, elections, national security, and health but show no signs of slowing down the pace of innovation.

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