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Alain Jocard | AFP | Getty Images

E-commerce giant Amazon on Monday said it will invest up to $4 billion in artificial intelligence firm Anthropic and take a minority ownership position in the company.

The move underscores Amazon’s aggressive AI push as it looks to keep pace with rivals such as Microsoft and Alphabet’s Google.

Anthropic was founded roughly two years ago by former OpenAI research executives and recently debuted its new AI chatbot called Claude 2.

The two firms on Monday said that they are forming a strategic collaboration to advance generative AI, with the startup selecting Amazon Web Services as its primary cloud provider. Anthropic said it will provide AWS customers with early access to unique features for model customization and fine-tuning capabilities.

Anthropic will also use custom AWS-designed semiconductors to train the foundational models that underpin its AI applications.

Foundation models are large AI programs trained on vast amounts of data so that they can be adapted to solve a wide range of tasks. 

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