Alphabet's Google has agreed to invest up to $2 billion in artificial intelligence startup Anthropic, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
The company has invested $500 million upfront into the OpenAI rival and agreed to add $1.5 billion more over time, the WSJ report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Google is already an investor in Anthropic, and the fresh investment would underscore a ramp-up in its efforts to better compete with Microsoft, a major backer of ChatGPT creator OpenAI, as Big Tech companies race to infuse AI into their applications.
Alphabet’s original funding in the tech company led to the March release of its own rival chatbot named Claude.
Claude was introduced on the same day Microsoft's OpenAI released its fourth-generation ChatGPT model, dubbed GPT-4.
At the time, Anthropic said Claude was being integrated for the social question-and-answer platform Quora and the DuckDuckGo web browser.
Amazon.com also said last month that it would invest up to $4 billion in Anthropic, to compete with growing cloud rivals on AI.
The rising number of investments also shows ongoing maneuvering by cloud companies to secure ties with the AI startups reshaping their industry.
Anthropic, which was co-founded by former OpenAI executives and siblings Dario and Daniela Amodei, has also been firing all cylinders in its battle with OpenAI to secure the resources and deep-pocketed backers needed to become leaders in the sector.
Anthropic also made news this week, joining its partners OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google to announce a new director and the creation of a $10M AI Safety Fund for its Frontier Model Forum, an AI safety think tank.
Earlier this month, in the first of its kind legal action, the artificial technology company was sued by several big music publishers, including Universal, who say Anthropic misused copyright-protected music to train its Claude chatbot.
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