Amazon said on Monday it would invest up to 4 billion dollars in AI firm Anthropic, as the online retail giant steps into an AI race dominated by Microsoft, Google and OpenAI.
The success of OpenAI's ChatGPT, a chatbot released last year that is able to generate poems, essays and other works with just a short prompt, has led to billions being invested in the field.
Amazon had already announced it aimed to soup up its Alexa voice assistant with generative AI, which the firm said would allow users to have smoother conversations.
San Francisco-based Anthropic is seen as a leader in the field and has its own chatbot, Claude, a competitor to ChatGPT.
"We have tremendous respect for Anthropic's team and foundation models, and believe we can help improve many customer experiences, short and long-term, through our deeper collaboration," said Amazon CEO Andy Jassy.
As part of the deal, Anthropic will use Amazon's chips and its cloud services -- the data centres that store and process data on a vast scale -- for "mission critical workloads".
Amazon said it would take a "minority ownership position" in the AI firm, which has already raised hundreds of millions since it was set up in 2021.
The deal intensifies competition between Amazon and Google, which had earlier opened its cloud services to Anthropic and invested 300 million dollars to acquire 10 percent of the company.
The models used by AI firms require huge computing power and Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud are among the biggest providers.(AFP)