Microsoft and OpenAI are deepening their partnership through Azure OpenAI Service, which will include ChatGPT in the future.
Microsoft announces the general availability of the Azure OpenAI Service. Previously, only select partners had access. According to Microsoft, "more businesses can apply for access to the most advanced AI models in the world."
The Azure OpenAI service includes GPT 3.5, the code completion model Codex that powers Github's Copilot, and the image AI DALL-E 2. Access to ChatGPT in the Azure AI infrastructure will follow soon, according to Microsoft.
"Large language models are quickly becoming an essential platform for people to innovate, apply AI to solve big problems, and imagine what’s possible," Microsoft writes.
Microsoft hints at more AI innovation to come
Microsoft introduced Azure OpenAI Services in November 2021, and select enterprises have had exclusive access to a customizable version of GPT-3 since then. Enterprises can fine-tune GPT-3 for video game language or business language, for example, depending on the purpose of the application.
Compared to the OpenAI API, Microsoft promises additional Azure capabilities for security, reliability, compliance, privacy and other enterprise needs. Microsoft acquired exclusive rights to GPT-3 in September 2020.
According to Microsoft, the pace of innovation in the AI community is "moving at a lightning speed". The company holds out the prospect of more AI news in 2023 and beyond.
"We strongly believe they [AI models] will empower businesses and people to innovate in entirely new and exciting ways," Microsoft writes.
Small and large businesses use Azure OpenAI service
According to Microsoft, companies of all industries and sizes are using the Azure OpenAI service for end-user applications or internal processes. Startup Moveworks, for example, uses GPT-3 to write drafts for its internal customer knowledge base.
"This saves IT and HR teams a significant amount of time and improves employee self-service. Azure OpenAI Service will also radically enhance our existing enterprise search capabilities and supercharge our analytics and data visualization offerings. Given that so much of the modern enterprise relies on language to get work done, the possibilities are endless," said Moveworks CTO Vaibhav Nivargi.
Media company Al Jazeera Digital uses Azure OpenAI Services for summary generation, translation, topic discovery and tags, among other things. KPMG uses Azure OpenAI Services to more efficiently make its clients' fiscal ESG (environmental, social and governance) initiatives publicly available.
In addition to the Azure OpenAI Service, Microsoft is using OpenAI Codex for Github Copilot, an automatic code completion tool, and DALL-E 2 is integrated into Bing Image Creator Tools and Office.
In addition, Microsoft reportedly plans to integrate AI models from OpenAI into Office and Bing Search. Microsoft first invested $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019 and is now reportedly looking at investing another $10 billion to acquire a 49% stake in OpenAI.