The AI wars heat up with Claude 3, claimed to have “near-human” abilities

The Anthropic Claude 3 logo.

Enlarge / The Anthropic Claude 3 logo. (credit: Anthropic)

released Claude 3, a family of three AI language models similar to those that power ChatGPT. Anthropic claims the models set new industry benchmarks across a range of cognitive tasks, even approaching “near-human” capability in some cases. It’s available now through Anthropic’s website, with the most powerful model being subscription-only. It’s also available via API for developers.

Claude 3’s three models represent increasing complexity and parameter count: Claude 3 Haiku, Claude 3 Sonnet, and Claude 3 Opus. Sonnet powers the chatbot now for free with an email sign-in. But as mentioned above, Opus is only available through Anthropic’s web chat interface if you pay $20 a month for “Claude Pro,” a subscription service offered through the Anthropic website. All three feature a 200,000-token context window. (The context window is the number of tokens—fragments of a word—that an AI language model can process at once.)

We covered the launch of Claude in March 2023 and Claude 2 in July of last year. Each of those times, Anthropic fell slightly behind OpenAI’s best models in capability while surpassing them in terms of context window length. With Claude 3, Anthropic has perhaps finally caught up with OpenAI’s released models in terms of performance, although there is no consensus among experts yet—and the presentation of AI benchmarks is notoriously prone to cherry-picking.

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