Thursday, April 25

Anthropic challenges OpenAI and Google with new chatbot

AI startup Anthropic released a new version of its Claude chatbot on Monday, claiming it outperforms other leading chatbots on a series of standard benchmark tests, including systems from Google and OpenAI.

Dario Amodei, chief executive and co-founder of Anthropic, said the new technology, called Claude 3 Opus, was particularly useful for analyzing scientific data or generating computer code.

Anthropic is one of a small group of companies at the forefront of generative AI, a technology that instantly creates text, images and sounds. Dr. Amodei and other Anthropic founders helped pioneer this technology while working as researchers at OpenAI, the startup that kicked off the generative AI boom in late 2022 with the release of the ChatGPT chatbot.

Chatbots like ChatGPT can answer questions, write essays, generate small computer programs and much more. They can also generate false or misleading information, just like people do.

When OpenAI released a new version of its technology called GPT-4 last spring, it was widely considered the most powerful chatbot technology used by both consumers and businesses. Google recently introduced a comparable technology called Gemini.

But leading artificial intelligence companies have been distracted by one controversy after another. They say the computer chips needed to build AI are in short supply. And they face countless lawsuits over how they collect digital data, another essential ingredient in creating AI (The New York Times sued Microsoft and OpenAI for using copyrighted works of author.)

Yet technology continues to improve at a remarkable pace.

Anthropic claims its Claude 3 Opus technology outperforms both GPT-4 and Gemini in math problem solving, computer coding, general knowledge and other areas.

Claude 3 Opus will be available starting Monday for consumers who pay a $20 per month subscription. A less powerful version, called Claude 3 Sonnet, is available for free.

The company allows businesses to create their own chatbots and other services using Opus and Sonnet technologies.

Both versions of the technology can respond to images as well as text. These might analyze a flow chart, for example, or solve a math problem involving diagrams and graphs.

But the technology cannot generate images. Google recently suspended Gemini’s ability to generate human faces after it produced images showing people of color wearing German military uniforms from World War II.