Google reportedly made an investment worth around $300 million in software start-up Anthropic, a move to secure a presence in the emerging field of generative AI.

Financial Times reported Google had taken a 10 per cent stake in the company, an investment which follows moves by other big tech players to increase their influence over smaller companies working on developing AI.

One of those stand-outs is Microsoft, which invested in generative AI developer OpenAI three years ago and last month announced a multi-billion dollar investment in the company.

OpenAI attracted significant attention in recent months due to the rising popularity of its chatbot ChatGPT.

As well as news of the investment from Google, Anthropic separately stated it had selected Google Cloud as its preferred cloud provider, with the partnership designed “so that the companies can co-develop AI computing systems”.

For Google, a major attraction of Anthropic is its AI assistant Claude, which is tipped to emerge as a competitor to ChatGPT but has not been released publicly yet.

Anthropic was founded in 2021 and had already attracted investment of $700 million, mainly from hedge funds.

Like OpenAI, it is working on developing generative AI, technology which can develop high-quality content from simple text prompts.

Arguably motivated by Microsoft’s push, all signs point to Google making a big play around AI this year.

In its Q4 2022 earnings announcement last week, CEO Sundar Pichai said Google is well positioned in AI as it reaches an inflection point, teasing plans to unveil new services based on the technology in the near future.