Microsoft has deepened its partnership with OpenAI, the maker of popular AI offering ChatGPT, confirming a multi-billion dollar investment in the company and representing the software giant’s biggest bet yet on the technology.

In a blog post, Microsoft said the investment in OpenAI follows previous support for the company in 2019, when it invested $1 billion, and another undisclosed funding move in 2021.

Although the amount has not been officially revealed this time around, various news outlets are reporting that Microsoft will pump around $10 billion into OpenAI, significantly increasing its interest in the AI ​​specialist after a three-year partnership.

Microsoft will realize its investment over several years, deploying OpenAI’s models in its consumer and enterprise products, which includes its Office software suite and the Bing search engine.

Following closer ties with OpenAI, Microsoft said it will also increase investment in developing and deploying specialized supercomputing systems to accelerate independent AI research.

Microsoft’s Azure will now become OpenAI’s exclusive cloud provider, powering all of its workloads across research, products and API services.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said he initially partnered with OpenAI because of a shared ambition to advance AI and democratize the technology.

“In this next phase of our partnership, developers and organizations across all industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models, and toolchain with Azure to build and run their applications.”

Interest in OpenAI has skyrocketed in recent months after chatbot ChatGPT became an internet sensation following its launch in November 2022, attracting around 1 million users in its first week.

The platform is considered to be at the forefront of “generative AI”, due to its ability to create high-quality content from simple text prompts.

Richard Windsor, founder of research firm Radio Free Mobile, believes the investment will likely benefit Microsoft in several ways, pointing to the fact that OpenAI will not be available on AWS or Google Cloud as a major boost to its business. Azure cloud.

He added that it allows Microsoft to improve products like Office through AI, but has questions about ChatGPT.

“I don’t expect to see ChatGPT integrated into Office because I don’t think it’s reliable or secure, which means it doesn’t meet Microsoft’s own standards for the AI ​​products it creates. .”

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