Microsoft announced on Monday that it would invest more in OpenAI, staking its future on the startup and technology that created the ChatGPT chatbot phenomenon and paving the way for increased competition with Alphabet Inc.'s Google.
In a blog post, Microsoft said, ”Today, we are announcing the third phase of our long-term partnership with OpenAI through a multiyear, multibillion dollar investment to accelerate AI breakthroughs to ensure these benefits are broadly shared with the world.”
Microsoft, which recently proclaimed an AI revolution, is building on a wager it placed on OpenAI almost four years ago. It committed $1 billion to the startup in 2019 that Elon Musk and investor Sam Altman co-founded, and since then, among other forms of assistance, it has built a supercomputer to power OpenAI's technology.
“We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform,” said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “In this next phase of our partnership, developers and organizations across industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models, and toolchain with Azure to build and run their applications.”
“The past three years of our partnership have been great,” said Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI. “Microsoft shares our values and we are excited to continue our independent research and work toward creating advanced AI that benefits everyone.”
By using so-called generative AI, a technology that can learn from vast data how to create virtually any type of content simply from a text prompt, Microsoft is devoting even more resources to keeping the two businesses at the forefront. The standout example that garnered considerable attention in Silicon Valley last year was OpenAI's ChatGPT, which generates prose or poetry on demand.
As OpenAI continues its quest to develop artificial intelligence that is comparable to human intelligence, Microsoft stated last week that it aimed to incorporate such AI into all of its products. Microsoft has already integrated OpenAI technology into Bing, the company's search engine, which is being discussed as a potential Google competitor for the first time in years.
The eagerly awaited investment demonstrates how Google, the originator of important AI research who is now planning its own unveiling for this spring, is locked in competition with Microsoft.
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