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SAP Invests in Generative AI Startups Anthropic, Cohere, and Aleph Alpha

Consulting giant SAP has invested in three major generative AI startups: Anthropic, Cohere, and Aleph Alpha. The move highlights SAP's commitment to backing AI-powered enterprise tech startups and its belief in the transformative potential of generative AI for businesses.

SAP Makes Major Investments in Generative AI Startups

SAP, the Germany-based consulting giant, has invested in three prominent generative AI startups, Anthropic, Cohere, and Aleph Alpha. The undisclosed terms of the direct investments follow SAP's over $1 billion commitment to back AI-powered enterprise tech startups from Sapphire Ventures.

Sebastian Steinhaeuser, SAP's chief strategy officer, expressed that "we’re at a watershed moment, with generative AI poised to fundamentally change how businesses run," adding that SAP aims to create an enterprise AI ecosystem that complements its world-class business applications suite.

All three investments align with SAP's business interests as a provider of sales-, service-, and commerce-oriented products that could greatly benefit from text-analyzing AI. Anthropic is developing an AI system, Claude, for various business-to-business tasks such as generating answers, coding, automating workflows, and processing text within natural conversations. Cohere offers a generative text platform accessible via an API as a managed service, deployable on virtual private clouds or on-site to cater to companies' data needs. Aleph Alpha, already an SAP Partner, creates and hosts multimodal, multilanguage models with an emphasis on interoperability, data privacy, and security.

These investments come in the wake of other significant movements in the AI space. For instance, Accenture has pledged to invest $3 billion in AI over the next three years, primarily for staffing purposes. Similarly, PwC announced its plan to spend $1 billion on AI to expand and scale its AI offerings, including a partnership with Microsoft to create offerings using OpenAI’s GPT-4 and ChatGPT.

Generative AI has significant economic potential. McKinsey estimates that it could add $4.4 trillion annually to the global economy, which is nearly equivalent to adding a country of the UK's size and productivity to the world. However, some strategists caution that the AI boom might not translate into massive profits, likening the hype to the tech bubble of the 1990s. As always, time will provide the most accurate verdict.