Anthropic releases its latest LLM Claude 2.1 as OpenAI self-destructs


In the midst of OpenAI’s existential crisis, competitor Anthropic unveils its new language model and chatbot, Claude 2.1. It has a context window twice the size of its predecessor and is said to make fewer mistakes.

With a 200K context window, Anthropic’s Claude 2.1 surpasses the large 100K context window of its predecessor, which itself was surpassed by GPT-4 Turbo with a 128K context window in early November. With the 200K context window, Anthropic is once again the provider with the most attentive AI model on the market.

The context window describes how much content the language model can look at simultaneously when generating an answer. In the case of Claude 2, this is approximately 150,000 words or more than 500 pages of material, according to Anthropic.

Chatting the Iliad

Users can upload entire code bases, financial reports, or even large literary works like the Iliad or the Odyssey for the model to process, Anthropic says.



Claude can perform tasks such as summarizing, question-and-answer, predicting trends, and comparing multiple documents. However, generating an answer can take several minutes – nothing compared to hours of human work, Anthropic points out.

Video: Anthropic

In practice, however, the benefits of these large context windows are still limited. Tests show that large language models retrieve content less reliably when that content is further back and more in the middle of the input, the so-called “lost in the middle” phenomenon. The larger the input, the greater the risk of error.

In practice, this means that you can input large documents, but parts of the document may not be included in the analysis. The model finds information most reliably at the beginning of documents, as the GPT-4 Turbo benchmarks show.

Independent benchmarks will show how good or bad Claude 2.1 is here. In any case, Anthropic promises significant improvements over its predecessor, especially for longer contexts.


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