Microsoft confirms that it is investing billions in the creator of ChatGPT, OpenAI

Microsoft confirms that it is investing billions in the creator of ChatGPT, OpenAI



CNN

Microsoft confirmed Monday that it is making a “multi-billion dollar” investment in OpenAI, the company behind the new viral 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 the multi-year investment will be used to “develop AI that is increasingly safe, useful, and powerful.”

“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,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, said in a statement.

The deepening partnership between the two companies has the potential to fuel ambitious OpenAI projects, including ChatGPT, which has captured the attention of academics, business leaders, and technology enthusiasts, and at times raised their concerns, with its Ability to create long, exhaustive responses to user prompts and questions.

The investment could also catapult Microsoft as a leader in artificial intelligence and ultimately 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 its existing exclusive agreement with OpenAI, Microsoft recently said it would soon add ChatGPT features to its cloud computing service, Azure. If ChatGPT is made available on that service, businesses could also use the tools directly within their apps and services.

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 will continue to invest in “strategic areas for our future,” calling advances in AI “the next big wave” of computing.

Since OpenAI opened access to ChatGPT in late November, it has been used to write articles (with more than a couple of factual inaccuracies) for at least one news publication; he wrote lyrics in the style of various artists (one of whom later responded, “this song sucks”) and wrote summaries of research papers that misled some scientists.

Some CEOs have already used the platform to write emails or do some accounting work.

OpenAI is also the company behind DALL-E, which generates a seemingly limitless range of images in response to user input. Both DALL-E and ChatGPT are trained on large amounts of data to generate content.

But there are some risks here for Microsoft and OpenAI.

While these products have gained traction with users, they have also raised some concerns, including about their potential to perpetuate bias and spread misinformation. At the same time, a growing number of schools and teachers are concerned about the immediate impact of ChatGPT on students and their ability to cheat on assignments.

That could potentially create “a lot of negative publicity” for companies associated with these tools, said David Lobina, an artificial intelligence analyst at ABI Research.

However, the opportunity is immense and could boost Microsoft’s position in the growing arms race over artificial intelligence and provide a useful boost to OpenAI in the process.

“OpenAI is looking to monetize its systems, considering the enormous computational costs of creating these models,” Lobina told CNN before Monday’s announcement. “Their partnership with Microsoft can be an easy way to do that.”

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