Microsoft Announces Massive $1 Billion Investment in OpenAI

Yolanda Curtis
July 23, 2019

Microsoft today announced a major partnership with OpenAI including an investment of $1 billion.

Working closer with Microsoft might also appear to set at risk the intention not to "unduly concentrate power", though Nadella promises to keep "AI safety front and center".

OpenAI started in 2015 with much fanfare. The improvements Microsoft will make to Azure to build supercomputing technologies will also be made available to regular AI developers.

Microsoft and OpenAI are on a mission to build secure, trustworthy, and ethical AI that can serve the public. Now Microsoft as an investor, is contributing to their ambition.

Advocacy groups and policy makers have raised concerns about some types of AI and called for regulation to increase transparency, guard against bias and ensure the technology isn't used for military purposes and other unsafe applications. It has set new benchmarks for robot dexterity; its gaming bots have flattened human champions at Dota 2; and it's designed remarkably flexible text-generation systems, which can write anything from convincing song lyrics to fake news articles and short stories. That's a contrast to existing AI, which can learn specific jobs, such as understanding images, but can't tackle different problems on its own. On Monday, Microsoft and OpenAI addressed such concerns.

More importantly, OpenAI and Microsoft will work together to develop a new hardware and software platform within Microsoft Azure to scale AGI. We believe it's crucial that AGI is deployed safely and securely and that its economic benefits are widely distributed.

Microsoft announced on 22 July that the two companies are together working on to further extend the capabilities of Microsoft's Azure in the field of AI.

The partnership will be devoted to developing advanced AI models on Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform while adhering to "shared principles on ethics and trust", the companies said in a joint release. Instead, we intend to license some of our pre-AGI technologies, with Microsoft becoming our preferred partner for commercializing them.

"We want AGI to work with people to solve now intractable multi-disciplinary problems, including global challenges such as climate change, affordable and high-quality healthcare, and personalised education", OpenAI wrote in a blog post announcing the Microsoft partnership. The current CEO is fellow Silicon Valley stalwart Sam Altman, founder of Y Combinator.

Other reports by iNewsToday