Anthropic’s AI now lets you build bots to do the work for you

Anthropic is rolling out a new feature for its AI chatbot Cloud, which will let anyone build an email assistant, shoe-buying bot, or other personalized solutions. It’s the “tool app” (or nerdier “Function Call”), and it connects to any external API you choose.

While I’m not a big fan of the term “AI agents”, that’s the game plan here. For example, the tool can analyze data to create personalized product recommendations based on a user’s purchase history, or provide quick responses to customer inquiries, such as tracking order status or providing real-time technical support. To spin up Assistant, all it needs is access to an API and someone who knows how to code.

Also, this tool can work with images, enabling applications that analyze visual data. An example given by Anthropic is that a virtual interior design consultant can use the tool to process room images and provide personalized decorating recommendations.

This AI assistant is available through Anthropic’s Messages API, Amazon Bedrock and Google Vertex AI. Pricing is based on the volume of text cloud processes measured in “tokens”. Generally, 1,000 tokens equals about 750 words. During the beta phase, most users chose Haiku, Anthropic’s fastest and most affordable option, which costs approximately 25 cents per million input tokens and $1.25 per million output tokens.

The team has been beta testing the Claude tool with a few thousand customers since April, according to Diane Penn, project lead at Anthropic. He expects some great startup solutions: One notable customer is Steady Fetch, which he used to build a customized AI teacher called Spark.E.

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AI assistants or agents (or whatever you call them) seem to be where this technology is headed. At Google I/O, the search giant unveiled all sorts of ways to let Google use AI to shop and search for you. At OpenAI, the company does a job herLike a voice assistant that can respond in real-time and observe the world around you (in the demo, it He suggested a change of clothes before an important job interview).

Anthropic’s release of this new tool allows people to build different assistants to meet their needs, with or without Google and OpenAI.

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