Microsoft has confirmed a multibillion-dollar investment in the maker of ChatGPT and DALL-E, OpenAI.
Earlier this month there was talk of Microsoft investing in OpenAI and now those rumours are concrete, confirmed by Microsoft themselves. The Microsoft Corporation has announced the “third phase” in the long-term partnership with OpenAI through its new investment.
The is intended to help the acceleration of AI breakthroughs and to ensure that the benefits they produce can be shared with the world. This investment follows previous backing in 2019 and 2021. With a new extended partnership, Microsoft hopes to aid in the development of AI that is powerful, useful, and safe for users.
Microsoft backing OpenAI
OpenAI has generated a buzz in the world of AI in recent months with two of its AI bots. First is ChatGPT which OpenAI says is able to interact in a conversational way and create prompt and detailed responses. The chatbot has created detailed written work which has promoted the education system to look at banning the program. In addition to written work, some have even been attempting to use ChatGPT to write computer code.
DALL-E is a powerful image-creation program that is causing debate in the art world. The bot is able to create realistic images and art from a simple word description. This is sparking the debate of “Is AI art really art.” Some artists are also concerned as to where these AI bots are sourcing their imagery from. Many are worried their work will be collected and reused by AI.
Despite some of the controversy that surrounds these AI programs, they both present a leap forward in technology. Something that could potentially see OpenAI’s valuation reach $29 billion. With investments made in previous years, Microsoft has already played a hand in the development of these AI programs and is looking to further support the company.
Microsoft has detailed that they will continue to support AI research and will also build out Azure’s AI infrastructure. This is to help customers build and deploy AI applications on a global scale. Azure acts as a cloud computing platform which is operated by Microsoft. These new AI-powered experiences are intended to be deployed across Microsoft consumer and enterprise products and introduce new digital experiences.
Chairman and CEO at Microsoft, Satya Nadella commented on the partnership saying “We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratise AI as a new technology platform. In this next phase of our partnership. Developers and organisations across industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models, and toolchain with Azure to build and run their applications.”
AI tends to spark debate but it’s clear why Microsoft would want to play a part in its continued growth. Since 2016 the company has been trying to build Azure into an AI supercomputer and with an extended partnership with OpenAI they are a part of new powerful AI innovations. Microsoft stresses that its role in helping to establish these frameworks will also help to guide the industry to more responsible outcomes.