December 11, 2023

If more evidence was needed that there is a huge demand for generative artificial intelligence, German consulting giant SAP published yesterday invest Three main generative AI players: Anthropic, Cohere, and Aleph Alpha.

The terms of these direct investments, which were not disclosed, build on SAP’s commitment to support AI-driven enterprise tech startups with more than $1 billion from corporate venture capital firm Sapphire Ventures. SAP also recently highlighted several internal AI efforts at its annual Sapphire conference, include Digital assistants in customer experience tools.

“We are at a watershed moment where generative AI will fundamentally change the way businesses operate,” Sebastian Steinhaeuser, SAP Chief Strategy Officer, said in a press release. “SAP is committed to creating an enterprise AI ecosystem for the future that complements our suite of world-class business applications and helps our customers realize their full potential.”

All three investments — Aleph Alpha, Anthropic and Cohere — are very much in SAP’s business interest. SAP offers a range of products for sales, service and commerce, all of which will benefit from text analytics AI.

Anthropic is building Claude, an AI system that can help with a range of business-to-business tasks, including generating answers, coding, automating workflows, and processing text in the context of natural conversation. As for Cohere, it provides a platform for generating text, accessible via API as a managed service, and can be deployed in a virtual private cloud or on-site to meet the needs of the company where the data resides. Aleph Alpha (already a SAP partner) creates and hosts multimodal, multilingual models with a strong focus on interoperability, data privacy and security.

Cohere’s president and chief operating officer, Martin Kon, said the partnership with SAP “was an obvious fit,” given SAP’s European roots and Cohere’s European ambitions.

“This investment builds on our existing enterprise partnerships with companies like Oracle, McKinsey, NVIDIA, Salesforce, Sentinel One, and others to bring an independent, cloud-agnostic, data-safe approach to generative AI to enterprises globally,” Kon told TechCrunch via email.

Aleph Alpha and Anthropic did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

SAP’s announcement comes after McKinsey said it would partner with Cohere to help businesses adopt generative AI, marking the company’s first collaboration with a provider of text-based generative AI models. It follows a series of other announcements from major consultancies underscoring how serious they are about generative AI as a technology.

Accenture earlier this year Commitment Invest $3 billion in artificial intelligence over the next three years, much of it for staffing. The company plans to double its workforce of AI-focused consultants to 80,000 through hiring, acquisitions and training.

PwC is not to be outdone explain It will spend $1 billion on AI over the same period to expand and scale its AI offerings. As part of the push, PwC will work with Microsoft to create products using OpenAI’s GPT-4 and ChatGPT, as well as Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service, which packages OpenAI technology in an enterprise-friendly format.

McKinsey – of course, this is a bit biased – estimate Generative AI could add $4.4 trillion per year to the global economy, almost equivalent to adding an entirely new country worldwide ($3.1 trillion GDP in 2021) the size and productivity of the UK.

but other strategist Says the AI ​​boom won’t bring huge profits, and warns that the hype mirrors the tech bubble of the 1990s. As always, time will tell who is right.