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OpenAI Merger With Anthropic – The Rival Chatbot Startup Backed by FTX

Last Updated November 21, 2023 4:26 PM
James Morales
Last Updated November 21, 2023 4:26 PM

Key Takeaways

  • The board of OpenAI reportedly approached Anthropic AI to propose a merger.
  • Anthropic is a leading AI startup backed by Google and FTX.
  • The proposed merger would unite two of the leading chatbot and conversational AI developers.

When Sam Altman was ousted as OpenAI CEO on Friday, November 17, the global business rumor mill was kicked into overdrive.

While pundits continue to speculate that Altman could stage a comeback, on Sunday, OpenAI forged ahead to hire Twitch founder Emmett Shear as its third CEO in as many days. According to the latest reports, the company could be subject to yet another management reshuffle if the board follows through with a plan to join forces with rival chatbot developer Anthropic AI.

OpenAI Board Seeks Anthropic Merger

As first reported by The Information, OpenAI’s board of directors allegedly approached Anthropic co-founder and CEO Dario Amodei with a job offer. As part of the proposition, the two companies would merge, with Amodei serving as CEO of the combined business.

Although less successful than OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Anthropic’s Claude has nonetheless carved out a share of demand thanks to a more capable free version and a constant stream of new features.

Founded in 2021, Anthropic was given a significant boost this year in the form of a $2B investment from Google. 

The fresh funding hiked the firm’s estimated valuation to between $20B and $30B, making it one of the most valuable AI startups in the world. For early investors, including the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, the company’s latest price tag represents a significant return on investment. 

If FTX plays its card, some believe its Anthropic stake could even be worth enough to repay its multi-billion dollar debts in full.

Fallout From Altman Firing Threatens OpenAI’s Leadership

For OpenAI’s board, teaming up with one of the hottest AI startups to emerge in recent years is certainly attractive at a time when the bulk of its staff members are threatening to quit.

With Altman having secured a new role at Microsoft, the firm’s CEO Satya Nadella has also extended an offer of employment to other disgruntled OpenAI employees.

Facing a potential staff exodus, the proposed merger with Anthropic could help OpenAI secure the lead it has worked so hard to establish, allowing two leaders in the field of chatbots and conversational AI pool resources. 

But apparently , Amodei had no interest and declined OpenAI’s offer.

Meanwhile, Altman appears to be settling into his new role at Microsoft. At the same time, the serial entrepreneur is also exploring other options, including a potential new venture in the field of AI chip manufacturing.

With OpenAI’s remaining employees calling for their resignation, at least one board member has expressed regret over the decision to fire the company’s CEO. As the drama unfolds, expect more plot twists in the coming days

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