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Anthropic and its AI bot - Claude

There's a rush of AI news, and yet, if you haven't heard of a company called Anthropic and its bot Claude, you should know that they have an interesting story and the technology is excellent and free (in the meantime).

Robert Priscu

Let's start with who Anthropic is Entropic is a company founded two years ago (2021) by two brothers Daniela and Dario Amodei and 9 other people who were senior executives at another company - OpenAI, yes, the same company that brought us ChatGPT six months ago. Dario was the VP of research at OpenAI, so he probably knows as much about AI as he does about OpenAI. Why he left I don't really know, but it doesn't seem to have been greed, but rather some sort of value-business disagreement surrounding OpenAI's connection with Microsoft (which invested $10 billion in OpenAI). Either way, he received the initial funding of no less than $124 million from a bunch of stars such as Skype's Jan Talin, Facebook's Dustin Moskowitz, Facebook's former CEO Eric Schmidt, Google's former CEO, and several other entities. During 2022, they raised another crazy $700 million, 500 million of which came from a company called Alameda Research. And if that name sounds familiar to you, it's because Alameda's owner is one Sam Bankman-Fried - SBF. Yes, the same SBF that founded crypto trading company FTX, became a crypto multibillionaire, went bankrupt, was extradited to the US on multiple counts of fraud and defrauding investors and released on $250 million bail. He accomplished all this before he turned 32. There are rumors that Entropic or Sam itself will have to return the money invested in the company (oops!) and yet, it seems that in the meantime Entropic is making progress, and recently Google Cloud announced an additional $300 million investment, in an agreement that gives it a 10% stake in the company and an agreement to purchase cloud services (for training the model) from Google. In other words, Google Cloud made an excellent deal from its point of view, both 10% in a promising AI company and a (large) captive customer. Not bad. So how is the product of this Silicon Wellet telenovela? Well, until next week no one really took them too seriously, but the latest chatbot released - Claude 2 (Entropic insisted on giving it a son's name because they resented the fact that all the factions - Siri, Alexa, Cortana are "girls") released last week is making waves in the industry and is a worthy alternative to ChatGPT. So still, a few words about the chatbot:

  1. It's a very similar chat interface to Bard and ChatGPT, it's completely free (but it's only available from the US and UK, I was able to sign up and use the VPN easily).
  2. Preliminary tests - he's really good! Definitely gives ChatGPT a shot (in the paid version! GPT4) in the quality of the answers and also according to standard tests of AI it surpasses GPT in some parameters and loses to it in others.
  3. A unique feature that others don't have - you can upload large text files including PDFs and ask questions about the file.
  4. It has a "contact window" or extra-large call memory - 100K, a little more than 3 times that of ChatGPT 5. It's free (I've already said, but it's worth mentioning again) and its API costs are cheaper than GPT. Pictured below, Claude "swallows" Microsoft's entire annual report in PDF format and gives the key insights precisely.