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Microsoft Invests $14B In ChatGPT Maker OpenAI

Microsoft has confirmed the worst-kept secret in the tech world, and announced a “multi-year, multibillion dollar investment” in ChatGPT maker OpenAI.

Microsoft is making a A$14 billion investment in the company, following a A$1.4 billion injection in 2019 and a top-up in 2021.

The tech giant is touting altruistic motives for the partnership, speaking of Microsoft’s “vision to democratise AI as a platform”.

While this may be true, it cannot be denied that OpenAI’s technology is crucial in Microsoft competing with Alphabet across a range of products — from Bing searches, which will integrate ChatGPT as soon as March — to its Office suite, which already uses a number of OpenAI’s technologies.

Microsoft’s involvement will allow OpenAI to quickly scale the supercomputing systems needed to power both the GPT-3.5 language system ChatGPT is built upon, as well as its Dall-E program, which can generate artistic rendering from text commands.

As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella notes, the deal: “enables each of us to independently commercialise the resulting advanced AI technologies.”

OpenAI’s technology is central to Microsoft’s lofty goals to building Azure into “an AI supercomputer for the world”, serving as the foundation of our vision to democratize AI as a platform.

“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 Nadella.

“In this next phase of our partnership, developers and organizations across industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models, and toolchain with Azure to build and run their applications.”

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI added: “The past three years of our partnership have been great.

“Microsoft shares our values and we are excited to continue our independent research and work toward creating advanced AI that benefits everyone.”

This comes as Bill Gates, currently in Australia, warns that AI will be replacing many white-collar jobs.

“I think about it a lot, as I’m an adviser to Microsoft where Satya Nadella is doing a great job,” Gates said.

“He has made sure the company has engaged both internally and through partnerships like the one they have with OpenAI, and he draws on my thinking which goes back a long, long way.

“The way it can help you look through and summarise documents is great and if you compare what the dialogue with AIs will be over the next two or three years about things like planning a trip, with the current experience on a search engine, it is dramatically better.”

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