Microsoft to invest $10 billion in OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT

Microsoft said Monday it is making a “multi-year, multi-billion dollar” investment in OpenAI, the San Francisco artificial intelligence lab behind experimental online chatbot ChatGPT.

The companies did not disclose specific financial terms of the deal, but a person familiar with the matter told Microsoft 10 billion will be invested In OpenAI.

Microsoft has already invested more than $3 billion in OpenAI, and the new deal is a clear indication of the importance of OpenAI’s technology to Microsoft’s future and its competition with big tech giants like Google, Meta and Apple.

With Microsoft’s deep pockets and OpenAI’s cutting-edge artificial intelligence, companies hope to stay ahead. Creative artificial intelligence – Technologies that can generate text, images and other media in response to short instructions. After its surprise launch in late November, ChatGPT — A chatbot that answers questions in clear, well-punctuated prose – became the symbol of a new and more powerful wave of AI

OpenAI, the product of more than a decade of research within companies like Google and Meta, are poised to remake all of these technologies. Online search engines such as Google Search and Microsoft Bing to do Photo and graphics editors like Photoshop.

The deal follows Microsoft’s announcement last week that it has begun laying off employees as part of an effort Get 10,000 posts. It said the changes, including layoffs, lease terminations and “changes to our hardware portfolio,” will cost $1.2 billion.

Satya Nadella, the company’s chief executive, said last week that the cuts would allow the company to focus on priorities such as artificial intelligence, which he called “the next big wave of computing.”

On Monday Mr. In his company’s announcement, Nadella clarified that the next phase of the partnership with OpenAI will focus on bringing tools to market, saying, “Developers and companies in the industry will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models and toolchain. “

OpenAI was founded in 2015 by a small group of entrepreneurs and artificial intelligence researchers, including Sam Altman, president of start-up builder Y Combinator; Elon Musk, the billionaire chief executive of electric car maker Tesla; and Ilya Sutzkever, One of the most important researchers of the last decade.

They established the laboratory as a non-profit organization. But in 2018 Mr. After Musk left the venture, Mr. Altman turned OpenAI into a non-profit so it could raise the money it needed for its research.

A year later, Microsoft He invested a billion dollars in the company; In the next few years, that is Quietly invested another $2 billion. These funds paid for the enormous computing power needed to develop the kinds of AI technologies OpenAI is known for.

OpenAI is in talks to complete an agreement to sell existing shares in what is known as a tender offer. That could total $300 million, depending on how many employees agree to sell their shares, according to two people familiar with the discussions, valuing the company at about $29 billion.

In 2020, OpenAI was built A landmark AI system called GPT-3 Be able to create your own text, including tweets, blog posts, news articles, and computer code. Last year, it was released Give it to herIt allows anyone to create visual images by describing what they want to see.

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Based on the same technology as GPT-3, ChatGPT showed the public how powerful this type of technology is. More than a million people tested the chatbot in its first few days online, using it to answer trivia, explain ideas and create everything from poetry to term papers.

Microsoft has already incorporated GPT-3, DALL-E and other OpenAI technologies into its products. More importantly, GitHub, a popular online service for programmers owned by Microsoft, offers a tool called Copilot. Snippets of system code can be generated automatically.

Last week, it expanded the availability of several OpenAI services to customers of Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing offering, and ChatGPT said “coming soon.”

The company plans to report its latest quarterly results on Tuesday, and investors expect a tough economy, including declining PC sales and more cautious business spending, to further hit earnings.

Microsoft has faced slowing growth since late summer, and Wall Street analysts expect new financial results to show its slowest growth since 2016. But the business still generates substantial profits and cash. It continued Return money to investors through quarterly dividends and a $60 billion share buyback program approved by its board in 2021.

Both Microsoft and OpenAI say their goals are more than the perfect chatbot or programming assistant.

OpenAI’s mission is to create artificial general intelligence, or AGI, a machine that can do anything a human brain can do. When OpenAI announced its initial agreement with Microsoft in 2019, Mr. Nadella explained. Machines of today.

“Whether it’s our pursuit of quantum computing or AGI, I think you need these highly ambitious North Stars,” he said.

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How to make it is not something researchers need to know. But many believe that systems like ChatGPT are the path to this lofty goal.

Lately, these technologies have been a way for Microsoft to expand its business, increase revenue, and compete with the likes of Google and Meta.

Sunda Pichai was recently CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet “Code Red” announced,” improving projects and launching AI development. Google plans to release more than 20 products this year and demonstrate a version of its search engine with chatbot features, according to a slide presentation reviewed by The New York Times and two people who were not authorized to discuss them.

But new AI technologies come with a long list of drawbacks. They often produce toxic content Wrong informationHate speech and biased images against women and people of color.

Microsoft, Google, Meta, and other companies are reluctant to release many of these technologies because they risk damaging established brands. Five years ago, Microsoft released a chatbot called Day that produced racist and xenophobic language and quickly removed it from the Internet after complaints from users.

Nico Grant contributed reporting.

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