Google is in talks to invest at least $200 million in artificial intelligence (AI) startup, Cohere. This once again shows that the arms race of big tech companies in AI is escalating. Founded in 2019, Cohere makes natural language processing software. Developers use this software to build AI applications for businesses. It can also build chatbot tools and other capabilities that can understand human speech and text. In November, Cohere announced a multi-year partnership with Google. Google’s cloud division provides Cohere with the computing power it needs to train software models.
Cohere has also held discussions with chipmaker Nvidia about a potential strategic investment as part of the financing talks. Negotiations between the companies are still ongoing and could break down. The valuation Cohere will receive in any potential new financing is not yet available.
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Besides Google, other tech giants are investing big in AI
Besides Google, other tech giants are also looking to make more bets on AI. Microsoft Corp. is in advanced talks for a new funding round from AI research group OpenAI. This is another startup racing to develop software models that it hopes will achieve general artificial intelligence. OpenAI already counts Microsoft’s cloud service, Azure, as an exclusive partner. In 2019, Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI. Since taking over as Google CEO in 2015, Sundar Pichai has been emphasizing the importance of AI to the company. In 2014, Google’s parent company Alphabet acquired the AI research firm DeepMind.
Cohere’s new funding round will be the latest investment in an AI startup. In February, Cohere raised $125 million in a new funding round led by investment firm Tiger Global Funds. This brings its total funding at the time to more than $170 million. On Monday, AI firm Stability AI said it had raised $101 million in new funding from investors. Its investors include Coto Capital and Lightspeed Ventures.