Microsoft and OpenAI expand their partnership with a “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 a $1 billion investment over the following years.
A few weeks ago, there were initial rumors 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 percent in the AI company, while ensuring the independence of the OpenAI non-profit organization. However, with today’s announcement, the actual size and terms of the investment were not 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,” Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said in the announcement. “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.”
Microsoft’s investment will go toward the development and deployment of supercomputing systems that will serve as the foundation for OpenAI’s continued research. Microsoft also becomes the exclusive cloud partner of the company behind GPT-3, ChatGPT, or DALL-E 2.
As previously announced, Microsoft will offer OpenAI’s products through Azure, as well as deploy them in its own consumer and enterprise products.
OpenAI and Microsoft aim to build trustworthy and safe AI systems
“The past 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 toward creating advanced AI that benefits everyone.” The two companies are committed to delivering trustworthy and safe AI systems.
OpenAI remains a for-profit company and will continue to be managed by the OpenAI non-profit organization, according to a statement from the AI company. It said this structure allows it to create capital without sacrificing its core beliefs: that OpenAI wants to ensure “advanced AI benefits all of humanity.”