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Anthropic iPhone AI app, business plan to compete with OpenAI announced

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Anthropic on Wednesday announced its first-ever enterprise offering and a free iPhone app.

The generative artificial intelligence startup is the company behind Claude, one of the chatbots that, like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google‘s Gemini, has exploded in popularity in the past year. Anthropic, founded by ex-OpenAI research executives, has backers including Google, Salesforce and Amazon, and in the past year, it’s closed five different funding deals totaling about $7.3 billion.

The new plan for businesses, dubbed Team, has been in development over the last few quarters and involved beta-testing with between 30 and 50 customers in industries such as technology, financial services, legal services and health care, Anthropic co-founder Daniela Amodei told CNBC in an interview, adding that the idea for the service was partially borne out of many of those same customers asking for a dedicated enterprise product.

“So much of what we were hearing from enterprise businesses is people are kind of using Claude at the office already,” Amodei said.

The Team plan offers access to all three of Anthropic’s latest Claude models, with increased usage limits, admin tools and billing management, as well as a longer “context window,” meaning the ability for businesses to have “multi-step conversations” and upload long documents like research papers and legal contracts for processing, according to Anthropic. Other features coming include “citations from reliable sources to verify AI generated claims,” per the release.

The Team offering costs $30 per user per month when billed monthly. It requires a minimum of five users.

Anthropic iPhone app

Anthropic’s first iOS app is free for users across all plans and also available starting Wednesday. It provides syncing with web chats and the ability to upload photos and files from a smartphone.

There are plans to launch an Android app, too. “We actually just hired our first Android engineer, so we are actively working on the Android app,” Amodei told CNBC, adding that the engineer starts next week.

News of the Team plan and iOS app comes more than a month after Anthropic’s debut of Claude 3, a suite of AI models that it says are its fastest and most powerful yet. The new tools are called Claude 3 Opus, Sonnet and Haiku.

The company has said the most capable of the new models, Claude 3 Opus, outperformed OpenAI’s GPT-4 and Google’s Gemini Ultra on industry benchmark tests, such as undergraduate-level knowledge, graduate-level reasoning and basic mathematics. This is also the first time Anthropic has offered multimodal support: users can upload photos, charts, documents and other types of unstructured data for analysis and answers.

The other models, Sonnet and Haiku, are more compact and less expensive than Opus. The company declined to specify how long it took to train Claude 3 or how much it cost, but it said companies like Airtable and Asana helped A/B test the models. In a release Wednesday, Anthropic confirmed that other current clients using Claude include Pfizer, Asana, Zoom, Perplexity AI, Bridgewater Associates and more currently.

The generative AI field has exploded over the past year, with a record $29.1 billion invested across nearly 700 deals in 2023, a more than 260% increase in deal value from a year earlier, according to PitchBook. It’s become the buzziest phrase on corporate earnings calls quarter after quarter. Academics and ethicists have voiced significant concerns about the technology’s tendency to propagate bias, but even so, it’s quickly made its way into schools, online travel, the medical industry, online advertising and more.

Around this time last year, Anthropic had completed Series A and B funding rounds, but it had only rolled out the first version of its chatbot without any consumer access or major fanfare. Now, it’s one of the hottest AI startups, with a product that directly competes with ChatGPT in both the enterprise and consumer worlds.

Claude 3 can summarize up to about 150,000 words, or a sizeable book, about the length range of “Moby Dick” or “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” Its previous version could only summarize 75,000 words. Users can input large data sets, and ask for summaries in the form of a memo, letter or story. ChatGPT, by contrast, can handle about 3,000 words.

In January, OpenAI came under fire regarding its enterprise offering, for quietly walking back a ban on the military use of ChatGPT and its other artificial intelligence tools. Its policies still state that users should not “use our service to harm yourself or others,” including to “develop or use weapons.” Before the change, OpenAI’s policy page specified that the company did not allow the usage of its models for “activity that has high risk of physical harm, including: weapons development [and] military and warfare.”

Anthropic’s stance on the military use of Claude is similar to OpenAI’s updated policy.

“The way that we draw the line there today is we don’t discriminate based on industry or based on business, but we have an acceptable use policy that says what you can and can’t use Claude for,” Amodei told CNBC, adding, “Any business in the world that’s not in a sanctioned country, of course, [and] meets basic business requirements, can use Claude for all kinds of back-office applications and things like that, but we have … very strict guidance around Claude not being used for weapons, basically anything that can cause violence or harm people.”

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