What is Anthropic?

Anthropic is an American AI start-up that specializes in the development of general AI systems and language models. It is also a public-benefit corporation with a mission to use artificial intelligence responsibly.

History of Anthropic

Anthropic was founded in 2021 by Dario and Daniela Amodei, a brother-and-sister team who are also former employees of OpenAI. The pair started the company with nine other OpenAI co-workers who shared a coherent vision for the future of AI research and safety.

In a podcast interview with the Future of Life Institute, Dario noted that “we [the team] were all working at OpenAI and trying to make this focused bet on basically scaling plus safety or safety with a lens towards scaling being a big part of the path to AGI… [we] just eventually came to the conclusion that it would be great to have an organization like top to bottom that was just focused on this bet and could make all strategic decisions with this bet in mind.

This bet means Anthropic wants to make powerful AI systems less unpredictable, unreliable, and opaque. In more specific terms, the company’s objective is to incorporate safety principles into an AI industry that, like many others, favors power, efficiency and increasingly profit above all else.

Series A and Series B funding

Just months after the company was founded, it managed to raise $124 million in a Series A funding round led by Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn. Also involved were Dustin Moskovitz, James McClave, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and the Center for Emerging Risk Research.

In a post on its website announcing the deal, Anthropic noted the funds would be used to research and develop AI systems that were interpretable, steerable, reliable, and robust.

This was followed by a $580 million Series B funding round in April 2022 that was led by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. Daniel Amodei noted the money would be used to explore the scaling properties of machine learning systems and how safety issues might emerge at scale.

Google investment

Google has subsequently invested nearly $400 million in Anthropic, and while both parties have declined to comment on the specifics, Anthropic will use Google’s cloud services to enable other businesses to harness the power of reliable and responsible AI.

Claude

Claude is the name of Anthropic’s language model assistant and the main rival to ChatGPT. Claude is a 52-billion parameter autoregressive model that was trained unsupervised on a large text dataset similar to its competitor.

While there are many similarities between Claude and ChatGPT, the former is trained on “Constitutional AI” principles and examples to make what Anthropic believes is a less harmful language assistant.

In February 2023, the company introduced a waitlist for early access to Claude. 

Anthropic team

In addition to Dario and Daniela Amodei, there are now over 50 employees at Anthropic. However, the company’s founding team is believed to consist of:

  • Tom Brown – former lead engineer of GPT-3.
  • Chris Olah – who worked at Google Brain on scaling laws.
  • Sam McCandlish – former OpenAI research lead.
  • Catherine Olsson – a machine learning researcher and computer scientist who is a technical staff member.
  • Jack Clark – another Anthropic co-founder who worked in policy, strategy, and communications at OpenAI.
  • Tom Henighan – like Olsson, Tom Henighan is a member of the technical staff who held a similar role at OpenAI.
  • Kamal Ndousse, Benjamin Mann, and Nicholas Joseph – all three round out Anthropic’s technical staff team and like Henighan, held similar roles at OpenAI.

Key takeaways

  • Anthropic is an American AI start-up that specializes in the development of general AI systems and language models. It is also a public-benefit corporation with a mission to use artificial intelligence responsibly.
  • Anthropic wants to make AI systems less unpredictable, unreliable, and opaque. To that end, the company’s objective is to incorporate safety principles into an AI industry that, like many others, prioritizes power and efficiency above all else.
  • Claude is the name of Anthropic’s language model assistant and the main rival to ChatGPT. Claude is a 52-billion parameter autoregressive model that was trained unsupervised on a large text dataset similar to its competitor.

Read Next: History of OpenAI, AI Business Models, AI Economy.

Connected Business Model Analyses

AI Paradigm

current-AI-paradigm

Pre-Training

pre-training

Large Language Models

large-language-models-llms
Large language models (LLMs) are AI tools that can read, summarize, and translate text. This enables them to predict words and craft sentences that reflect how humans write and speak.

Generative Models

generative-models

Prompt Engineering

prompt-engineering
Prompt engineering is a natural language processing (NLP) concept that involves discovering inputs that yield desirable or useful results. Like most processes, the quality of the inputs determines the quality of the outputs in prompt engineering. Designing effective prompts increases the likelihood that the model will return a response that is both favorable and contextual. Developed by OpenAI, the CLIP (Contrastive Language-Image Pre-training) model is an example of a model that utilizes prompts to classify images and captions from over 400 million image-caption pairs.

OpenAI Organizational Structure

openai-organizational-structure
OpenAI is an artificial intelligence research laboratory that transitioned into a for-profit organization in 2019. The corporate structure is organized around two entities: OpenAI, Inc., which is a single-member Delaware LLC controlled by OpenAI non-profit, And OpenAI LP, which is a capped, for-profit organization. The OpenAI LP is governed by the board of OpenAI, Inc (the foundation), which acts as a General Partner. At the same time, Limited Partners comprise employees of the LP, some of the board members, and other investors like Reid Hoffman’s charitable foundation, Khosla Ventures, and Microsoft, the leading investor in the LP.

OpenAI Business Model

how-does-openai-make-money
OpenAI has built the foundational layer of the AI industry. With large generative models like GPT-3 and DALL-E, OpenAI offers API access to businesses that want to develop applications on top of its foundational models while being able to plug these models into their products and customize these models with proprietary data and additional AI features. On the other hand, OpenAI also released ChatGPT, developing around a freemium model. Microsoft also commercializes opener products through its commercial partnership.

OpenAI/Microsoft

openai-microsoft
OpenAI and Microsoft partnered up from a commercial standpoint. The history of the partnership started in 2016 and consolidated in 2019, with Microsoft investing a billion dollars into the partnership. It’s now taking a leap forward, with Microsoft in talks to put $10 billion into this partnership. Microsoft, through OpenAI, is developing its Azure AI Supercomputer while enhancing its Azure Enterprise Platform and integrating OpenAI’s models into its business and consumer products (GitHub, Office, Bing).

Stability AI Business Model

how-does-stability-ai-make-money
Stability AI is the entity behind Stable Diffusion. Stability makes money from our AI products and from providing AI consulting services to businesses. Stability AI monetizes Stable Diffusion via DreamStudio’s APIs. While it also releases it open-source for anyone to download and use. Stability AI also makes money via enterprise services, where its core development team offers the chance to enterprise customers to service, scale, and customize Stable Diffusion or other large generative models to their needs.

Stability AI Ecosystem

stability-ai-ecosystem

About The Author

Scroll to Top
FourWeekMBA