ChatGPT Faces Competition From Four A.I. Startups On Big Tech’s Radar

ChatGPT has started a A.I. race among tech giants, but the game is really about startups in this field.

ChatGPT
ChatGPT has more competitors than most people think. Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The roaring success of ChatGPT has triggered a race among Big Tech companies to either come up with their own competing artificial intelligence products or buy a stake in promising startups that could become the next OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT.

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In the past month, Microsoft, Google (GOOGL) and China’s Baidu have each presented their responses to ChatGPT. In the meantime, some of these companies have also invested or formed partnerships with lesser-known startups specializing in generative A.I., the technology behind text and image generators like ChatGPT and Dall-E, OpenAI’s other viral product that can generate digital images based on text prompts.

There is a natural attraction between A.I. startups and tech behemoths. Many startups rely on the cloud infrastructure of large tech companies to train their algorithms, while tech giants often see them as potential investment or acquisition targets to expand their business without having to do the early-stage research themselves.

Here are four A.I. startups and their flagship products that have caught the attention of Big Tech recently:

Hugging Face / Bloom

Founded in New York in 2016, Hugging Face offers a platform for A.I. developers to share open-source code and training models. It also makes an original language model called Bloom, a rival of ChatGPT’s GPT-3 model.

The company said Feb. 21 it’s collaborating with Amazon (AMZN) to build the next generation of Bloom on the Amazon Web Services (AWS). As part of the deal, Amazon will also make Hugging Face’s products available to AWS customers for building their own applications.

Financial details of the product partnership were not disclosed. Amazon said it’s not an investor in Hugging Face and the collaboration isn’t exclusive.

Stability AI / Stable Diffusion

Stability AI makes an open-source image generator called Stable Diffusion, a competitor to OpenAI’s Dall-E. Both image bots were released in early 2021. Stability AI also runs its training models on AWS.

Stable Diffusion’s capabilities have drawn ire from the photography world. Earlier this month, Stability AI was sued by Getty Images over copyright infringement. Getty claimed the startup had copied more than 12 million images from its database without permission to train its A.I. models.

Stability AI has plans to release a text generator similar to ChatGPT and is working on video-generating models, which could potentially be useful for companies in the film industry.

The company was founded in late 2020 by Emad Mostaque, a former hedge fund manager in the U.K. It’s already valued at $1 billion after raising a $101 million seed round from a slew of venture capital firms in October.

AI21 Labs / Jurassic

Israeli startup AI21 Labs offers a language model called Jurassic, also a rival of GPT-3. In December, AI21 Labs made Jurassic available on Amazon’s AWS platform through a partnership. More than 25,000 developers have signed up to use the language model.

AI21 Labs was founded in 2017 by Yoav Shoham, a former director of Stanford University’s A.I. lab. The company was most recently valued at $664 million after raising a $64 million round in July.

Anthropic / Claude

Anthropic is the company behind Claude, a ChatGPT-like text-generator released in January. Currently it’s only available to a group of test users. The startup recently received a $300 million investment from Google, the Financial Times reported Feb. 3.

Anthropic was founded in 2021 by former executives of OpenAI, including siblings Daniela and Dario Amodei.

Before founding Anthropic, Daniela Amodei was OpenAI’s head of safety and Dario oversaw research and led the development of OpenAI’s GPT-2 and GPT-3 language models.

Anthropic’s investors include Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of FTX Group.

ChatGPT Faces Competition From Four A.I. Startups On Big Tech’s Radar