Microsoft invests $1 billion in OpenAI to build Azure AI supercomputing technologies
Microsoft Corp on Monday said it would invest USD 1 billion in a partnership with San Francisco-based OpenAI, co-founded by Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO at Tesla, and other wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, to develop artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputing technologies on its Azure cloud computing service.
"Microsoft Corp and OpenAI, two companies thinking deeply about the role of AI in the world and how to build secure, trustworthy and ethical AI to serve the public, have partnered to further extend Microsoft Azure's capabilities in large-scale AI systems," the company said in a statement.
Through this partnership, the companies will develop the next generation of AI applications and power OpenAI's efforts to create artificial general intelligence (AGI).
As per the agreement, OpenAI will port its services to run on Microsoft Azure, which it will use to create new AI technologies and deliver on the promise of artificial general intelligence. Microsoft will become OpenAI's preferred partner for commercialising new AI technologies, the Seattle-based company said.
Established in 2015, OpenAI is a non-profit artificial intelligence research company, with USD 1 billion in funding from Silicon Valley investors Sam Altman, Peter Thiel and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, among others.
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 said.
"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 Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.
"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," he added.
Speaking on the agreement, Sam Altman, CEO, OpenAI said, "The creation of AGI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity."
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar