Anthropic Unveils Claude 3.5 Sonnet: Its Most Advanced AI Model Yet

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Anthropic has launched a new AI model called Claude 3.5 Sonnet, which it claims is its “most intelligent model yet.”

The new model, Claude 3.5 Sonnet, is reportedly twice as fast as Claude 3 Opus, the company’s previous top-performing AI, and five times less expensive to operate. Following a trend established by — which just last month released the newest version of ChatGPT, GPT-4o—Claude 3.5 Sonnet is available for free to all users on the web and iOS. It has also been made accessible to developers.

Claude 3.5 Sonnet is “now the most intelligent model in the world,” asserts Michael Gerstenhaber, a product manager at the company. “We are at the beginning of a Cambrian explosion of this industry,” Gerstenhaber told TIME prior to the release.

Looking at the pace of model releases, it’s easy to see why. Claude 3.5 Sonnet follows just three months after the launch of Anthropic’s previous suite of models, Claude 3, and just under a year after the release of its predecessor, Claude 2.

Unlike GPT-4o, the latest version of Claude cannot search the internet or generate image files. Its “intelligence” is measured by its performance on a series of benchmarks, which, while , do show that it is currently at the forefront of the pack. But it’s the qualitative aspects of the model, rather than its performance on benchmarks, that Gerstenhaber is most enthusiastic about. Early users of 3.5 Sonnet highlighted its intelligence and the humor it displayed in interactions, he said. This is likely a result of Anthropic’s efforts to give Claude a, and to have the model “display a genuine curiosity about the views and values of the people it’s talking with,” according to the company’s website.

In addition to its enhanced coding and image transcription capabilities, 3.5 Sonnet has a new feature that alters how chatbots operate—what Anthropic refers to as “artifacts.” When users ask Claude to draft documents, generate code, or assist with something like web design, it displays the requested content in a separate panel that sits next to the chat. Ask it to make changes to the content, and you can see it update in real-time.

Artifacts offer a glimpse into how Anthropic is envisioning the future of its models, where they go beyond chatbots and act more as sandboxes where teams of people can collaborate on work, “with Claude serving as an on-demand teammate,” according to the company’s press release. This suggests that future models may have more in common with collaborative software tools like Notion and Google Docs than the chatbot interfaces proliferating today.

Anthropic states that Sonnet 3.5 underwent rigorous safety testing. Concerns about the capabilities of current and future models are on the minds of virtually all major AI labs, most of which have published documents outlining what actions they will take based on how dangerous they deem their models to be—often referred to as “responsible scaling policies” (RSPs). Despite the increase in intelligence, the model is still considered to be at ‘AI Safety Level 2’ according to Anthropic’s ; the same level that Claude 3 Opus was at in March.

Sonnet 3.5 was shared with the United Kingdom’s for pre-deployment testing prior to its release. The results of this testing were also shared with the United States’ AI Safety Institute, as part of a partnership between the two institutions.

about how Sonnet 3.5 performed under safety tests reveals that the model “does not pose risk of catastrophic harm,” for example by increasing risks related to bioweapons or nuclear war. However, the documentation does note that Anthropic “observed an increase in capabilities in risk-relevant areas compared to Claude 3 Opus.”

Regarding privacy, Anthropic states they “do not train [their] generative models on user-submitted data unless a user gives us explicit permission to do so.” They also note that “to complete the Claude 3.5 model family,” updated versions of Opus and Haiku (respectively bigger and smaller versions of Sonnet), will be out later this year. 

-With additional reporting by Billy Perrigo/London