Microsoft is extending its partnership with OpenAI, the startup behind ChatGPT, and will make a multi-billion dollar investment in it over the next few years to speed up research, development and commercial adoption of its artificial intelligence (AI) products.
Microsoft has earlier invested in OpenAI in 2019 and 2021 and has together built multiple AI supercomputing systems.
As part of the partnership, Microsoft said it will invest more in the development and deployment of supercomputers to accelerate OpenAI’s research. Microsoft will also deploy OpenAI’s models across its consumer and enterprise products. It includes Azure OpenAI Service, which was announced last week to give businesses and developers access to GPT-3.5, Codex, and DALL-E so they can integrate them into their apps and workloads.
Also, Microsoft said that it will be OpenAI’s exclusive cloud provider and will handle all its workloads, products, and API services.
Though Microsoft didn’t say how much it will invest in OpenAI this time, according to a Semafor report published January 10, the investment could be around $10 billion for a 49% stake in the AI startup.
“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,” Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft, said in a statement.
“The past three years of our partnership have been great. Microsoft shares our values and we are excited to continue our independent research and work toward creating advanced AI that benefits everyone,” added Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI.
Founded in 2015 by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs including Sam Altman and Elon Musk, OpenAI claim to fame is the various generative AI models it has developed such as DALL-E (it can generate artwork and images from text) and ChatGPT (a chatbot that can write poems, essays, code and answer complex questions).
Its latest model called Point-E, which was released last month, can generate 3D models from text prompts.
OpenAI claims it will remain a capped-profit company governed by the OpenAI non-profit, which allows it to raise funds without having to give up on its core beliefs around sharing its technology with others.