Microsoft is pouring billions more into OpenAI, the lab behind ChatGPT, an AI program that could challenge Google’s search engine.
On Monday, Microsoft announced(Opens in a new window) it’s making a “multiyear, multibillion dollar investment” into OpenAI to help accelerate research at the San Francisco-based lab. The companies didn’t reveal the exact investment amount. But Microsoft has been mulling a $10 billion investment in the company, according(Opens in a new window) to Semafor, which cites unnamed sources familiar with the deal.
Microsoft’s goal is to commercialize any resulting AI breakthroughs from the partnership. In return, OpenAI will receive funding to build up the supercomputing behind ChatGPT, a powerful chatbot program that can answer questions, generate essays, and even write computer code. OpenAI is also behind DALL-E 2, another AI program that can generate professional art from mere lines of text.
“Microsoft will deploy OpenAI’s models across our consumer and enterprise products and introduce new categories of digital experiences built on OpenAI’s technology,” Redmond said in its announcement. Hence, you can expect ChatGPT and DALL-E 2 to become mainstream features in the Bing search engine and Microsoft Office software.
In addition, Microsoft plans on making the AI programs exclusively available to companies through its Azure OpenAI(Opens in a new window) platform, allowing software developers to build apps and services around ChatGPT.
Microsoft already invested(Opens in a new window) $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019 to help fund the program’s development. With its latest $10 billion round, Microsoft will get 75% of OpenAI’s profits until the investment is recouped. Redmond will then take a 49% share of the lab, according to Semafor.
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The partnership could put pressure on Google, which has been scrambling to respond to ChatGPT’s growing popularity. A recent survey found that 27% of working professionals are already using the AI-powered chatbot for job tasks.
Microsoft and OpenAI didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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