OpenAI and Microsoft Extend Partnership to Advance AI Tech

Microsoft will invest several billion dollars in OpenAI. The two companies have been partners since 2019.

Written by Ashley Bowden
Published on Jan. 23, 2023
OpenAI and Microsoft Extend Partnership to Advance AI Tech
Wide angle view of a Microsoft sign at the headquarters for the software and hardware company, with office building in the background
Photo: Shutterstock

Artificial intelligence innovator OpenAI and software giant Microsoft announced Monday the continuation of their long-term partnership.

Their conjoined goal is to build secure, trustworthy and ethical AI to benefit humanity, starting with Microsoft’s cloud computing platform Azure. Having spent the past few years collectively building Azure-powered supercomputing systems, OpenAI will further R&D with the help of Microsoft’s multi-billion dollar investment. According to Bloomberg, Microsoft is investing $10 billion into OpenAI.

San Francisco-based OpenAI was founded in 2015 by tech personalities including company CEO Sam Altman and Tesla creator Elon Musk. OpenAI is best known for its ChatGPT solution, a conversational AI chatbot that uses natural language processing to help people do things like debug code and write song lyrics. This system is powered by OpenAI’s deep learning language prediction model GPT-3. In addition to this model, OpenAI developed Codex for translating language to code and DALL-E for generating images.

Microsoft is deepening its work in the AI space by continuing its investment in OpenAI. The company is the exclusive cloud provider for OpenAI’s workloads, meaning OpenAI uses Azure to train all of its models. Azure AI consists of a range of services for developers and data scientists to build and deploy their own AI solutions. The platform offers models for vision, speech, language and decision-making. 

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The two companies first teamed up back in 2019 when Microsoft invested an initial $1 billion in OpenAI to create and commercialize new Azure AI tech solutions. Both OpenAI and Microsoft strive to enable artificial intelligence to work with people to help solve issues from climate change to personalized healthcare and education, Microsoft mentioned in a 2019 release.

“The past three years of our partnership have been great,” Altman said in a statement. “Microsoft shares our values and we are excited to continue our independent research and work toward creating advanced AI that benefits everyone.”

As the partnership continues, Microsoft will deepen its investment in the cloud systems that power OpenAI’s research. The company will also deploy OpenAI’s models across its consumer and enterprise offerings, as well as introduce new digital experiences built on OpenAI’s tech.

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

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