CNN and Bloomberg are among those reporting that Microsoft is investing ten billion dollars in OpenAI.
OpenAI is the company behind deep learning language models such as GPT-3 and ChatGPT. The investment could boost Microsoft’s position in the AI race and provide a boost to OpenAI, as well. Microsoft Azure will continue to serve as OpenAI’s exclusive provider.
The new support builds on the more than one billion Microsoft put into OpenAI in 2019 and 2021. The investment tops all but three acquisitions Microsoft has made in recent years. Microsoft is competing with Alphabet, Amazon, and Meta to dominate this fast-growing technology that generates text, images and other media in response to a short prompt.This gives Microsoft’s cloud customers access to OpenAI tools such as the the GPT-3.5 language system, ChatGPT, and the DALL-E model for generating images from text prompts.
The investment benefits OpenAI by providing Microsoft’s funding and cloud-computing power. Such computing power is a requisitie for processing the massive volumes of data and running the increasingly complex models that allow generative AI to generate realistic images based on a few words, and allow ChatGPT to create human-like conversational text.
This comes less than a week after Microsoft said it’s laying off about ten thousand workers, ostensibly due to a weakening economy crimping software demand. Microsoft noted that it will still invest and hire in key priority areas, such as, it would seem, generative AI.