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Your Own AI Assistant? Anthropic’s AI now lets you create bots to work for you

Anthropic, a leading AI research company, has made headlines with a new feature for its AI chatbot Claude. The new function dubbed "tool use" or "function calling" for the tech-savvy, empowers users to create personalized AI assistants capable of interacting with various online services.

Imagine a tireless assistant who can scour the web for the best deals on shoes, track your online orders, or even analyze data for you. That's the potential of Anthropic's new feature. Users can automate tasks and access information from various platforms by connecting Claude to external APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).

"This is a game-changer for user-friendly AI," said Dr. Ian Wallace, lead researcher at Anthropic. "The ability to leverage Claude's capabilities with existing online tools opens doors to a wide range of applications."

For example, you can create an email assistant that filters and prioritizes messages or a shopping bot that tracks prices and alerts you to bargains. Anthropic even envisions applications in fields like design, where a virtual consultant could analyze room images and suggest personalized decor ideas.

However, some experts caution that the feature might not be as user-friendly as it seems. Creating these bots might require some technical know-how, such as understanding APIs and potentially writing code. There were comments on Reddit also raising concerns about the barrier to entry, questioning if this is truly accessible to everyone.

Security is another consideration. As with any tool connected to the internet, there's a risk of vulnerabilities. Ensuring these custom bots operate securely and don't introduce new weaknesses will be crucial.

Despite these challenges, Anthropic's "tool use" feature marks a significant step towards more personalized and practical AI applications. The ability to automate tasks and leverage Claude's capabilities with existing online tools holds exciting possibilities for the future of user-friendly AI.

However, whether it empowers everyday users or caters more to tech-savvy individuals remains to be seen.

Pricing is based on the volume of text Claude processes, measured in “tokens.” Typically, 1,000 tokens equate to about 750 words. During the beta phase, most users opted for Anthropic’s fastest and most affordable option, Haiku, which costs approximately 25 cents per million input tokens and $1.25 per million output tokens.


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