Microsoft invests $ 1 billion in OpenAI

OpenAI's services will only run on Microsoft's cloud server in the future.

Microsoft has just announced it will expand its partnership with OpenAI artificial intelligence research firm to build AI technology for its cloud platform. This partnership covers both areas of technology and finance, in which Microsoft will invest $ 1 billion in OpenAI.


OpenAI was originally founded by Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk and Y Combinator’s president Sam Altman in December 2015, with a starting capital of $ 1 billion coming from major technology companies around the world. Part of the reason Elon Musk joined OpenAI as a co-founder was because he was concerned about the potential dangers of AI. Musk once said that it was like "summoning a demon". However, he recently left the company for reasons of conflict of interest with Tesla's budding AI section.


Since its founding in 2015, OpenAI has created technologies that help computers understand languages, train robots to perform tasks like doing housework, and even defeat human gamers in "DOTA 2" computer game. Earlier this year, OpenAI announced Altman as its full-time CEO, and at this time, it is no longer a non-profit company.

By expanding its partnership with Microsoft, OpenAI will have some work to do. First of all, OpenAI will switch to using only the Microsoft Azure cloud platform as a place to develop and run its software. Next, both will work together to build new AI systems. Microsoft will also become OpenAI's preferred partner in the commercialization of new AI technologies, most likely the OpenAI software will be tightly integrated with the Azure cloud platform.


On the broader side, the two companies will share a vision of Artificial Synthetic Intelligence (AGI) - the AI similar to the human intelligence you often see in movies and TV shows and able to really learn and understand. The vision of OpenAI and Microsoft are Artificial Synthetic Intelligence that can work with people to help solve many of today's difficult multidisciplinary issues, including global challenges such as climate change, health care, and education, according to OpenAI.


Microsoft first teamed up with OpenAI in 2016. OpenAI used Microsoft's cloud platform as its preferred cloud service, while Microsoft had deeper access to OpenAI technology and experts. On its side, Microsoft has continually invested in AI technology to cater to its cloud platform. Currently, companies such as Walmart are using Microsoft AI technology to improve their business. In November last year, Microsoft announced it would acquire XOXCO, a software product design and development studio known for creating AI bots. AI is one of the most transformative technologies of our time and has the potential to help solve the world's toughest challenge, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella said. By combining OpenAI's groundbreaking technology with new AI Azure technologies, their ambition is to democratize AI while keeping AI safe and comprehensive, so everyone can benefit.

By: Roxana Edwards

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