US technology company Microsoft has announced a multi-billion dollar investment in artificial intelligence company OpenAI, which is also behind ChatGPT.
The tech company said the investment is aimed at advancing breakthroughs in artificial intelligence to ensure the benefits spread around the world. While Microsoft did not specify the amount invested in OpenAI, Semafor reported earlier this month that the deal was worth $10 billion.
Microsoft’s latest investment in the artificial intelligence company comes after two previous financial commitments. The first two investments came in 2019 and 2021, respectively. Microsoft backed OpenAI with $1 billion in July 2019, making the technology company the exclusive cloud services provider for the AI company. The’deal will continue under the most recent agreement.
In explaining the plan for the partnership with OpenAI, Microsoft said it would continue to develop its Azure cloud platform to enable customers with AI applications on a broader level. The tech company will also leverage OpenAI’s technology to introduce new categories of digital experiences. She also mentioned Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service, which allows developers to create cutting-edge AI applications with direct access to OpenAI models. At the same time, Azure will support all OpenAI workloads as the exclusive cloud provider for the artificial intelligence company. Commenting on the relationship with OpenAI, Microsoft CEO and President Satya Nadella said:
“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. In this next phase of our partnership, developers and organizations across all industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models and tool chain with Azure to build and run their applications.”
Microsoft has been working to turn Azure into an AI supercomputer, primarily through its investments in OpenAI over the years. The joint venture unveiled its first top-five supercomputer in 2020 and has gone on to build several AI supercomputer systems. In addition, OpenAI has deployed infrastructure for its models used in Azure to power AI products.
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, also said:
“The last three years of our partnership have been great. Microsoft shares our values and we are excited to continue our independent research and work to create advanced AI that benefits everyone.”
At press time, Microsoft shares were trading up 0.04 percent at $242.66 in premarket trading. This comes after the company closed up 0.98% at $242.58. Outside of a 2.37% jump over the past month and just over 1% year-to-date, MSFT has been steadily plunging over the past year.