Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger joins Amazon-backed Anthropic

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Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger will join artificial intelligence firm Anthropic as chief product officer, the company announced Wednesday.

Krieger, the former chief technology officer of Meta-owned Instagram, grew the platform to 1 billion users and increased its engineering team to more than 450 people during his time there, per a release. He and Instagram’s other co-founder, Kevin Systrom, most recently built the personalized news app Artifact and sold it to Yahoo.

Around this time last year, Anthropic had only rolled out the first version of its chatbot without any consumer access or major fanfare. Now, it’s one of the hottest AI startups, with a product that directly competes with OpenAI’s ChatGPT in both the enterprise and consumer worlds. Krieger’s hiring is likely meant to further that competition.

The generative AI startup is the company behind Claude, one of the chatbots that, like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google‘s Gemini, has rocketed in popularity in the past year.

“Mike will oversee Anthropic’s product engineering, product management, and product design efforts as we work to expand our suite of enterprise applications and bring Claude to a wider audience,” Anthropic said in a release.

News of Krieger’s hiring follows Anthropic’s debut of its first enterprise offering and iOS app earlier this month. And in March, Anthropic announced Claude 3, a suite of AI models that it says are its fastest and most powerful yet.

Anthropic was founded by ex-OpenAI research executives, and its backers include Google, Salesforce and Amazon. It’s closed five different funding deals totaling about $7.3 billion in the past year.

Krieger will lead Anthropic’s latest initiatives.

The company’s new plan for businesses, dubbed Team, has been in development over the last few quarters and involved beta-testing with between 30 and 50 customers across various industries, such as technology, financial services, legal services and health care, Anthropic co-founder Daniela Amodei told CNBC in an interview earlier this month.

Anthropic’s first iOS app is free for users across all plans and also debuted this month. It provides syncing with web chats and the ability to upload photos and files from a smartphone. There are plans to launch an Android app, too.

The generative AI field has exploded over the past year, with a record $29.1 billion invested across nearly 700 deals in 2023, a more than 260% increase in deal value from a year earlier, according to PitchBook. It’s become the buzziest phrase on corporate earnings calls quarter after quarter.

Academics and ethicists have voiced significant concerns about the technology’s tendency to propagate bias. But even so, it’s quickly made its way into schools, online travel, the medical industry, online advertising and more.

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