WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
AI already ingests information fast, but now it can detect changes in that information even faster.
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Anthropic says it has vastly expanded the amount of information its Generative AI, Claude, is able to process. Claude has gone from having a limit of 9,000 tokens to 100,000 tokens, which corresponds to roughly 75,000 words. That’s a full novel. To put that into perspective, Claude now has the ability to easily read and finish Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms (74,240 words), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (74,800 words) and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (69,000 words). And, as The Verge notes, the company says Claude can read and analyze information from each book in under a minute.
Generative AIs like Claude are still limited by the number of “tokens” they can process. As OpenAI explains in its help page, you can think of tokens as pieces of words. The AI cuts up words for processing, and they’re not always chopped up from the start to the end of each word, since spaces and other characters are also included. At the moment, OpenAI’s standard GPT-4 model is capable of processing 8,000 tokens, while an extended version can process 32,000 tokens. Meanwhile, its publicly available ChatGPT chatbot has a limit of around 4,000 tokens.
Now Claude has a much wider context window than all of them. According to Anthropic, it loaded Great Gatsby onto the AI during testing and modified a single line to say Mr. Carraway was “a software engineer that works on machine learning tooling at Anthropic.” Claude was able to spot how the book was modified within 22 seconds which is impressive.
The AI’s expanded context window is now available to Anthropic’s business partners who are using its API. Anthropic says the capability will help businesses quickly digest and summarise lengthy financial statements and research papers, assess pieces of legislation, identify risks and arguments across legal documents and comb through dense developer documentation, among other possible tasks.