Microsoft and OpenAI expand partnership with “multi-billion dollar investment”.
Software giant Microsoft and AI company OpenAI today announced the third phase of their multi-year partnership, which has been in place since their initial investments in 2019. In the summer of 2019, Microsoft joined OpenAI as a lead investor, committing to $1 billion investment over subsequent years.
A few weeks ago, the first rumors circulated that Microsoft was looking to strengthen its partnership with OpenAI with up to ten billion US dollars. Accompanying the rumored deal: complex terms that offer Microsoft up to 49% in the AI company, while securing the independence of nonprofit OpenAI. However, with today’s announcement, the actual size and terms of the investment have not been revealed.
Microsoft to become OpenAI’s exclusive cloud partner
“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,” said the CEO. Microsoft General Satya Nadella in the announcement. “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.”
Microsoft’s investment will go towards developing and deploying supercomputing systems that will serve as the foundation for ongoing OpenAI research. Microsoft also becomes the company’s exclusive cloud partner behind GPT-3, ChatGPT or DALL-E 2.
As previously announced, Microsoft will deliver OpenAI’s products through Azure, as well as deploy them in its own consumer and enterprise products.
OpenAI and Microsoft aim to create reliable and secure AI systems
“The last three years of our partnership have been great,” said Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI. “Microsoft shares our values and we are excited to continue our independent research and work to create advanced AI that benefits everyone. Both companies are committed to providing reliable and secure AI systems.
OpenAI remains a for-profit company and will continue to be operated by the nonprofit organization OpenAI, according to a statement from the AI company. He said this structure allows him to build capital without sacrificing his core beliefs: that OpenAI wants to ensure “advanced AI benefits all of humanity.”