Artificial intelligence: Microsoft invests “several billion” dollars in OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT

This is the third phase of the collaboration between Microsoft and OpenAI (after investments in 2019 and 2021): according to a joint press release published on Monday January 23, the digital giant will invest billions of dollars in OpenAI. This partnership aims in particular to strengthen the Microsoft subsidiary dedicated to remote computing (cloud), Azure. Asked by AFP about the exact amount of the investment and a possible increase in the capital of OpenAI, Microsoft did not respond immediately. Several American media mentioned the figure of 10 billion dollars. Little known to the general public until now, OpenAI, created only 7 years ago, has been talked about a lot since the launch, last November, of its “chatbot” ChatGPT.

Although it is not the first software of its kind, it has surprised by the quality of its responses, whether writing a text on a given topic, explaining a complex subject in an intelligible way, or even to create a poem or the lyrics of a song. ChatGPT amazes as much as it worries, between a valuable tool that saves humans from tedious tasks and a threat to many jobs whose usefulness it could call into question. The agreement announced on Monday provides that each partner will be able to “market independently” products resulting from the technology developed jointly, based on artificial intelligence.

ChatGPT elements soon integrated into Outlook or Bing?

In addition to ChatGPT, the “billions of dollars” invested by Microsoft will be able to benefit other software developed by OpenAI, such as Dall-E 2, which makes it possible to generate images on demand thanks to artificial intelligence, or GitHub Copilot, computer programming assistant. OpenAI plans to launch a paid version of ChatGPT, which should offer faster responses and the ability to interact more frequently with the chatbot. Under this collaboration, Microsoft will use software already developed by OpenAI “in its consumer and business products.” This means that elements of ChatGPT could be integrated into applications such as the Outlook email service or the Bing search engine.

“With this new phase of our partnership, developers and companies from all industries will have access to the best models, infrastructure and toolset of artificial intelligence, with Azure to build and run their applications”, commented the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, quoted in the press release. Originally a software company, then a computer equipment company, Microsoft has for several years made remote computing a major axis of development, like its rivals Alphabet (Google) or Amazon.

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“We are excited to continue our independent research and work to create advanced artificial intelligence that benefits everyone,” OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said in the statement. For analysts at Wedbush Securities, “ChatGPT can potentially be a game-changer for Microsoft,” they explained in a note. With this investment the firm of Redmond (State of Washington) “is ahead of the rest of the ‘big tech'”, they added. Shortly after the opening of Wall Street, the title Microsoft gained 0.93%.

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