Microsoft Corp. announced that it will “soon” integrate OpenAI‘s popular ChatGPT AI bot into its cloud-based Azure service, strengthening an already-existing partnership between the two businesses as Microsoft considers purchasing a significant share in OpenAI.

The software behemoth announced the wide release of its Azure OpenAI Service, which has been accessible to a select group of users since its 2021 introduction.

According to Microsoft, the service gives Microsoft’s cloud clients access to several OpenAI tools, including the Dall-E model for creating images from text prompts and the GPT-3.5 language system, on which ChatGPT is based. This makes it possible for Azure customers to integrate OpenAI products into their cloud-based applications.

People familiar with Microsoft’s plans stated last week that the company is in talks to invest up to $10 billion in OpenAI. Although the final details may vary, the proposal calls for the Redmond, Washington-based software maker to invest money over several years, the sources said, asking to remain anonymous because they were discussing a private topic.

According to resources involved with the negotiations, Semafor last week reported that the prospective investment might be worth approximately $29 billion for OpenAI. Representatives from Microsoft and OpenAI have declined to comment on the discussions.

Microsoft, which is already an OpenAI partner thanks to a $1 billion investment in 2019 to support it, is attempting to gain a competitive advantage over Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Inc., and Meta Platforms Inc. by gaining access to the most widely used and cutting-edge AI systems.

Microsoft to integrate ChatGPT with the Office 365 apps

Since its release at the end of November, ChatGPT has exploded into the internet, gaining its first million users in less than a week. Speculation over its potential to displace freelance writers and perhaps endanger Google’s main search operation was spurred by its approximation of human discourse. Elon Musk and Silicon Valley investor Sam Altman co-founded the company that’s behind it, and it generates revenue by charging developers to use its technology.

The launch of the new technology caps off a year of notable advancements in AI. A significant discussion concerning the integration of AI into the creative professions was also sparked by the company’s Dall-E, which accepts written prompts to synthesize art and other pictures. A GPT-4 replacement model for OpenAI’s natural language processing is already under development.

The accuracy of ChatGPT has raised questions, however, and Altman himself has stated that it is not reliable enough for the bot to be used. As a result, New York City schools have forbidden their kids from using ChatGPT.

The Copilot programming tool from Microsoft’s GitHub unit is now being automated using OpenAI’s Codex, and this capability is being added to Azure along with the other OpenAI tools. In its Teams chat program, Bing search engine, Office productivity suites, and security tools, the corporation aim to incorporate even more OpenAI technologies.

Image Credit: Microsoft


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