OpenAI bags $1bln investment from Microsoft; to work together on AI supercomputing tech

    Microsoft and OpenAI will work together to build new Azure AI supercomputing technologies.
    By: HT CORRESPONDENT
    | Updated on: Jul 23 2019, 14:42 IST
    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (R) and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman at the Microsoft campus are pictured in Redmond, Washington, U.S. in this July 15, 2019 handout photo.
    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (R) and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman at the Microsoft campus are pictured in Redmond, Washington, U.S. in this July 15, 2019 handout photo. (REUTERS)
    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (R) and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman at the Microsoft campus are pictured in Redmond, Washington, U.S. in this July 15, 2019 handout photo.
    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (R) and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman at the Microsoft campus are pictured in Redmond, Washington, U.S. in this July 15, 2019 handout photo. (REUTERS)

    Microsoft on Monday said it is going to invest $1 billion in partnership with research group OpenAI. Under the partnership, Microsoft will set up an Azure-based platform that OpenAI can use to create new Artificial Intelligence-driven technologies.

    Microsoft will also assist in helping developers build new AI-based apps. The core focus of the partnership includes building supercomputing technologies and Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). Microsoft is also now OpenAI's 'preferred partner' for building commercial AI technologies.

    OpenAI launched in 2015 amid much fanfare with backing from major names in the Silicon Valley. Co-founder Elon Musk and Peter Theil had promised to invest at least $1 billion to the research group which is focused on building AI solutions and better the ones offered by technology giants such as Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. Some of the top OpenAI investors include LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and venture capital firm Khosla Ventures.

    While Elon Musk is no longer part of OpenAI's board, the research group recently setup a for-profit arm to raise some money. Microsoft's latest investment as well will go to the for-profit arm, known as Open AI LLP. The investment is expected to help monetary problems that OpenAI may have been facing since Musk's departure.

    The research group recently came in the limelight after it developed an AI tool that could write fake news articles with from a handful of words. The research group claimed that the AI was "too dangerous to release."

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    OpenAI, however, believes its efforts to build AGI solutions will help all of humanity. "The creation of AGI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity," said Sam Altman, CEO, OpenAI. "Our mission is to ensure that AGI technology benefits all of humanity, and we're working with Microsoft to build the supercomputing foundation on which we'll build AGI. We believe it's crucial that AGI is deployed safely and securely and that its economic benefits are widely distributed. We are excited about how deeply Microsoft shares this vision."

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    "AI is one of the most transformative technologies of our time and has the potential to help solve many of our world's most pressing challenges," said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. "By bringing together OpenAI's breakthrough technology with new Azure AI supercomputing technologies, our ambition is to democratize AI — while always keeping AI safety front and center — so everyone can benefit."

    (With inputs from Bloomberg)

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    First Published Date: 23 Jul, 09:46 IST
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