The legal industry reacts to Amazon investing up to $4bn in Anthropic

Amazon and Anthropic this week announced a strategic collaboration that will see Amazon invest up to $4bn in the gen AI startup, massively accelerating the development of its future foundation models and making them widely accessible to AWS customers. Amazon said that it will take a minority investment in Anthropic.

As part of the expanded collaboration:

AWS will become Anthropic’s primary cloud provider;
Anthropic makes a long-term commitment to provide AWS customers around the world with access to future generations of its foundation models via Amazon Bedrock, a managed service released earlier this year that make foundation models from Amazon and leading AI startups available through an API; and
Amazon developers and engineers will be able to build with Anthropic models via Amazon Bedrock.

Commenting on the funding as part of the press announcement this week, Jeff Reihl, executive vice president and CTO of LexisNexis Legal & Professional said: “We are working with AWS and Anthropic to host our custom, fine-tuned Anthropic Claude 2 model on Amazon Bedrock to support our strategy of rapidly delivering generative AI solutions at scale and with cutting-edge encryption, data privacy, and safe AI technology embedded in everything we do.

“Our new Lexis+ AI platform technology features conversational search, insightful summarization, and intelligent legal drafting capabilities, which enable lawyers to increase their efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity.”

To date the legal sector – early days as it is – has worked most closely with OpenAI, in which Microsoft has invested $11bn, and which has led the market with its successive GPT models, until now seemingly blowing AWS out of the water.

Commenting on LinkedIn on the news of this investment, respected attorney and journalist Gregory Bufithis, founder of The Project Counsel Media Team, said: “And the 🔥 is on! Amazon plans to invest up to $4bn in artificial intelligence start-up Anthropic, as the big tech group steps up its rivalry with Microsoft, Google and Nvidia to get AI companies using its technology.”

However, speaking to Legal IT Insider in June about a range of POCs or trials being run at the UK top 50 law firm, Addleshaw Goddard’s  head of innovation and legal tech operations, Elliot White spelled out that the writing was already on the wall, commenting: “ChatGPT is not the only technology that people will be interested in, there’s Anthropic‘s Claude and Microsoft Bing and Google Bard. The genie is out of the bottle.”