American artificial intelligence startup Anthropic has launched its new AI chatbot called Claude 2, and invited the general public to use it.

Claude 2 is being touted by Anthropic as having “improved performance, longer responses, and can be accessed via API as well as a new public-facing beta website, claude.ai.”

Anthropic was founded in 2021 by former OpenAI research executives. As of July 2023, Anthropic has raised $1.5 billion in funding, including $300 million (£249m) from Google itself in February this year. The startup is valued at $4.1 billion.

Image credit: Pexels

AI startup

In May, Anthropic was one of four companies invited to a meeting at the White House to discuss responsible AI development with Vice President Kamala Harris.

Aso that month, Anthropic (alongside the CEOs of OpenAI and Google DeepMind) met with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Downing Street.

That Downing Street meeting with the PM was to discuss joint action to ensure the development of safe and responsible AI, and how to establish the right approach to governance for the next technological frontier.

The UK has subsequently announced it seeks to be the “geographical home” of coordinated international efforts to regulate artificial intelligence, and the UK will host an international summit on the risks and regulation of AI later this year.

For the past two months, Anthropic’s AI models have been tested by businesses such as Slack, Notion and Quora, and Anthropic has accumulated a waitlist of more than 350,000 people requesting access to Claude’s application programming interface and its consumer offering.

Claude 2 chatbot

Now Anthropic is opening up its chatbot technology to consumers for the first time with Claude 2.

“We have heard from our users that Claude is easy to converse with, clearly explains its thinking, is less likely to produce harmful outputs, and has a longer memory,” said Anthropic.

“We have made improvements from our previous models on coding, math, and reasoning. For example, our latest model scored 76.5 percent on the multiple choice section of the Bar exam, up from 73 percent with Claude 1.3.”

“Think of Claude as a friendly, enthusiastic colleague or personal assistant who can be instructed in natural language to help you with many tasks,” said Anthropic. “The Claude 2 API for businesses is being offered for the same price as Claude 1.3. Additionally, anyone in the US and UK can start using our beta chat experience today.”

Anthropic are working to make Claude more globally available in the coming months.

Claude uses

Users can input up to 100K tokens in each prompt, which means that Claude can work over hundreds of pages of technical documentation or even a book, Anthropic added.

Users can create an account and start talking to Claude in natural language, asking it for help with any tasks that they like

Claude can now also write longer documents – from memos to letters to stories up to a few thousand tokens – all in one go.

Anthropic said it also currently working with thousands of businesses who are using the Claude API.

Anthropic said welcomed feedback as it works to responsibly deploy its products more broadly.

“Our chat experience is an open beta launch, and users should be aware that Claude – like all current models – can generate inappropriate responses,” Anthropic cautioned. “AI assistants are most useful in everyday situations, like serving to summarize or organise information, and should not be used where physical or mental health and well-being are involved.”

AI interest

Since OpenAI first introduced ChatGPT to the public late last year, the tech world has invested heavily in the potential of generative AI chatbots.

But experts have voiced significant concerns about the technology’s tendency to propagate bias and other risks of AI in general.

Despite this, the technology has quickly made its way into education, law firms, the medical industry – sometimes not in a good way.

In March, OpenAI had publicly revealed its GPT-4 software, touting it as a significant improvement over its predecessor, that can produce more accurate text responses.

Google had announced its Bard competitor in February, and has since updated the chatbot’s math and coding skills and embedded the AI service in more products.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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