Microsoft confirmed on Monday that it is investing “billions of dollars” in OpenAI, the company behind a viral new AI chatbot tool called ChatGPT.
Microsoft, an early investor in OpenAI, said it plans to expand its existing partnership with the company as part of a larger effort to add more artificial intelligence to its product suite. In a separate blog post, OpenAI said its multi-year investment will be used to “develop increasingly safe, convenient and powerful AI.”
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement:
A deeper partnership between the two companies has the potential to strengthen OpenAI’s ambitious projects, including ChatGPT. ChatGPT has attracted the attention and sometimes concerns of researchers, business leaders and tech enthusiasts. User prompts and questions.
This investment will propel Microsoft as a leader in AI and may eventually pave the way for the company to incorporate ChatGPT into some of its signature applications such as Word, PowerPoint and Outlook.
As a result of an existing exclusivity agreement with OpenAI, Microsoft recently announced that it would soon add ChatGPT functionality to its cloud computing service, Azure. Once ChatGPT is available on that service, businesses will be able to use the tool directly within their apps and services as well.
The investment comes days after Microsoft announced plans to lay off 10,000 employees as part of broader cost-cutting measures. Nadella said at the time that the company would continue to invest in “strategic areas for the future,” and he pointed to advances in AI as the “next big wave” of computing.
Since OpenAI opened access to ChatGPT in late November, it has been used to write articles for at least one news publication (with two or more factual errors). He wrote lyrics in the style of various artists (one of whom later replied, “This song sucks”) and drafted summaries of research papers that misled some scientists.
Some CEOs are already using the platform to compose emails or do accounting work.
OpenAI is also the company behind DALL-E, which generates a seemingly infinite range of images in response to user prompts. Both DALL-E and ChatGPT are trained on massive amounts of data to generate content.
But Microsoft and OpenAI have some risks.
While these products have gained a lot of attention among users, they have also raised some concerns, such as the potential to perpetuate prejudices and spread misinformation. and the ability of students to cheat on assignments.
ABI Research artificial intelligence analyst David Lovina said there could be “very negative publicity” for companies associated with such tools.
But the opportunity is immense, and could boost Microsoft’s position in the arms race over artificial intelligence, boosting OpenAI in the process.
“OpenAI is looking to monetize the system given the enormous computational costs of creating these models,” Lobina told CNN ahead of Monday’s announcement. “Our partnership with Microsoft is an easy way to do that.”