OpenAI, which came to the larger internet’s limelight after the breakthrough AI talkbot ChatGPT, is set to receive even more investment from Microsoft. In an official blog post, Microsoft announced that it was extending its already existing partnership with OpenAI with a “multi-year, multi-billion-dollar investment.”
This development will substantially bolster the tech titan’s relationship with the ChatGPT developer. Furthermore, it will allow the behemoth to expand the use of AI across its products and step up the competition with rivals like Google, who have been losing sleep over ChatGPT and its quick rise to fame and glory. Microsoft continues to bet big on and devote tremendous resources to OpenAI and AI capabilities on one hand while firing thousands of employees on the other. Last week, it announced plans to lay off 10,000 employees as a part of its cost-cutting measures (a move that will cost Microsoft $1.2 billion in employee expenses.)
The infusion of fresh billions, according to OpenAI, will enable the startup to continue its independent research and develop AI that is “safe, useful and powerful.” This investment, according to Microsoft, follows its prior investments in the startup in 2019 – wherein it announced an investment of $1 billion in OpenAI “further extend” OpenAI’s large-scale AI capabilities – and in 2021 – when the Azure OpenAI service was launched.
In its blog post, Microsoft elaborated that will increase its investments in the deployment of specialized supercomputing systems to accelerate OpenAI’s AI research and build out Azure’s leading AI infrastructure for the deployment of AI applications on a global scale. Furthermore, it will integrate OpenAI’s AI systems with its products (consumer and enterprise alike) while “introducing new categories of digital experiences.” Azure, as OpenAI’s exclusive cloud provider, will continue to power the startup’s AI workloads across research, products, and API services.
“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,” Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft, said. “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.”
“The past three years of our partnership have been great,” Sam Altman, OpenAI CEO, commented on the matter. “Microsoft shares our values and we are excited to continue our independent research and work toward creating advanced AI that benefits everyone.” The startup added that it would remain a capped-profit company as part of the new investment deal with Microsoft in order to raise the required capital without compromising its “core beliefs about broadly sharing benefits and the need to prioritize safety.” As long as OpenAI remains a capped-profit company, the returns of its backers will be limited to 100 times their investment.