A $5B, 4-year plan to take on OpenAI from Anthropic

Founded by the former VP of OpenAI, Anthropic plans to raise $5B in the next two years as it competes with OpenAI and expands into multiple fields. Anthropic's Series C funding pitch deck proposes spending $1 billion over the next 18 months to develop a n

During the next two years, Anthropic plans to raise $5 billion to compete with rival OpenAI and enter over a dozen major industries.

These and other long-term goals are disclosed in Anthropic's pitch deck for its Series C fundraising round, founded in 2020 by former OpenAI researchers.

Anthropic says it will build a "frontier model" -- tentatively called "Claude-Next" -- 10 times more capable than today's most powerful AI over the next 18 months, but that this will cost a billion dollars.

A spokesperson for Anthropic said: "We are planning additional product announcements and will talk about them soon."

According to the Information, Anthropic hopes to raise $300 million at a valuation of $4.1 billion, bringing its total raised to $1.3 billion. Even though only half of the target number was raised when the deck was created from a "confidential investor," it confirms that number.

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As a result of its "constitutional AI" AI training technique, Anthropological describes the frontier model as a "next-generation algorithm for AI self-learning." The goal of constitutional AI is to align AI with human intentions -- allowing systems to respond to questions and perform tasks using a simple set of rules.

A frontier model of Anthropic would require more than ten thousand FLOPs, or floating point operations, than even the most advanced models of today. This translates into computation time based on the speed and scale of the system doing the computation. Anthropic suggests (in the deck) it uses clusters with "tens of thousands of GPUs."

With the likes of GPT-4 and other large language models, we already have a taste of how this frontier model could be used to build virtual assistants that can answer emails, conduct research, and create art, books, and more.

According to the pitch deck, these models could automate large portions of the economy. "We believe companies that train the best models in 2025/26 will be too far ahead to catch up in subsequent cycles."

Frontier is the successor to Claude, the chatbot used by Anthropic that can search across documents, summarize, write, code, and answer questions about specific topics. In these ways, it's similar to OpenAI's ChatGPT. However, Anthropic claims that Claude is "much less likely to produce harmful outputs" thanks to constitutional AI, "easier to converse with" and "more steerable."

Following a closed beta late last year, Anthropic released Claude commercially in March, providing initial access to around 15 partners. The following industries are among its beta users and potential customers (asterisks indicate that a human supervises the model):

Summary and analysis of legal documents

Analyzing medical records of patients

Emails and chats with customer service

Consumer and B2B coding models

Search, document editing, and content generation related to productivity

Public Q&A and advice chatbot

Natural language search

Job descriptions and interview analysis are among the HR tasks

Coaching and therapy

Assistants who work virtually

All levels of education

Former OpenAI vice president of research Dario Amodei formed Anthropic in 2021 as a public benefit corporation, taking many OpenAI employees with him, including Jack Clark, OpenAI's former policy lead. As a result of an argument over the company's commercial focus, Amodei left OpenAI.

Anthropic competes with OpenAI, Cohere, and AI21 Labs, which are all developing and manufacturing their own text-generating -- and sometimes even image-generating -- artificial intelligence systems. In terms of capital raised, OpenAI has raised the most, recently securing a reported $10 billion from Microsoft at a valuation of $29 billion.

The pitch deck reads, "Anthropic has been heavily focused on research for the first year and a half of its existence, but we have now been convinced that commercialization is necessary, which we fully committed to in September [2022]. Using our core expertise and brand, as well as where we anticipate adoption over the next 12 months, we developed a go-to-market and product specialization strategy."

According to the pitch deck, Alameda Research Ventures, the sister firm of Sam Bankman-Fried's failed cryptocurrency startup FTX, contributed $580 million to Anthropic's Series B round by holding "non-voting" shares. Within the next few years, Anthropic expects Alameda's shares to be disposed of in bankruptcy proceedings.

Anthropic's investors include Google, which invested $300 million in the startup for a 10% stake in it. According to the Financial Times, Anthropic will use Google Cloud as its "preferred cloud provider" and the companies will "co-develop AI computing systems."

Among the other Anthropic backers are James McClave, Dustin Moskovitz, Eric Schmidt, and Jaan Tallinn, founder of Skype.

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