Microsoft to invest $1 billion in OpenAI, will jointly develop new supercomputer technologies

Laurent Giret

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Microsoft announced today a multiyear partnership with OpenAI, a San Francisco-based company aiming to make artificial intelligence benefit all of humanity. As part of the deal, OpenAI will receive a $1 billion investment from Microsoft, and the company will also port its service to Azure and choose Microsoft as its preferred partner for commercializing new AI technologies

Microsoft and OpenAI also plan to work together on new AI supercomputing technologies to solve the world’s hardest problems. “The companies will focus on building a computational platform in Azure of unprecedented scale, which will train and run increasingly advanced AI models, include hardware technologies that build on Microsoft’s supercomputing technology, and adhere to the two companies’ shared principles on ethics and trust. This will create the foundation for advancements in AI to be implemented in a safe, secure and trustworthy way and is a critical reason the companies chose to partner together,” Microsoft explained in the press release.

Under the leadership of Satya Nadella, Microsoft has significantly increased its investments in Azure and artificial intelligence in recent years. But unlike some of its competitors, the company has also expressed its intention to leverage AI in a responsible way, as we’ve seen with the creation of an AI and Ethics in Engineering and Research (AETHER) committee last year.

“AI is one of the most transformative technologies of our time and has the potential to help solve many of our world’s most pressing challenges,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “By bringing together OpenAI’s breakthrough technology with new Azure AI supercomputing technologies, our ambition is to democratize AI — while always keeping AI safety front and center — so everyone can benefit,” Nadella said in the press release.