In a joint phone interview with Mr. Altman, Microsoft's chief executive, Satya Nadella, later compared A.G.I. to his company's efforts to build a quantum computer, a machine that would be exponentially faster than today's machines. "Whether it's our pursuit of quantum computing or it's a pursuit of A.G.I., I think you need these high-ambition North Stars," he said. Mr. Altman's 100-employee company recently built a system that could beat the world's best players at a video game called Dota 2. Just a few years ago, this kind of thing did not seem possible. Dota 2 is a game in which each player must navigate a complex, three-dimensional environment along with several other players, coordinating a careful balance between attack and defense. In other words, it requires old-fashioned teamwork, and that is a difficult skill for machines to master.
To build OpenAI--a new artificial intelligence lab that seeks to openly share its research with the world at large--Elon Musk and Sam Altman recruited several top researchers from inside Google and Facebook. But if this unusual project is going to push AI research to new heights, it will need more than talent. It will needs enormous amounts of computing power. Google and Facebook have the resources needed to build the massive computing clusters that drive modern AI research, including vast networks of machines packed with GPU processors and other specialized chips. Google has even gone so far as to build its own AI processor.
Microsoft is investing $1 billion in OpenAI, a San Francisco-based research lab founded by Silicon Valley luminaries, including Elon Musk and Sam Altman, that's dedicated to creating artificial general intelligence (AGI). The investment will make Microsoft the "exclusive" provider of cloud computing services to OpenAI, and the two companies will work together to develop new technologies. OpenAI will also license some of its tech to Microsoft to commercialize, though when this may happen and what tech will be involved has yet to be announced. OpenAI began as a nonprofit research lab in 2015 and was intended to match the high-tech R&D of companies like Google and Amazon while focusing on developing AI in a safe and democratic fashion. But earlier this year, OpenAI said it needed more money to continue this work, and it set up a new for-profit firm to seek outside investment.
Microsoft today announced that it would invest $1 billion in OpenAI, the San Francisco-based AI research firm cofounded by CTO Greg Brockman, chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, Elon Musk, and others, with backing from luminaries like LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman and former Y Combinator president Sam Altman. In a blog post, Brockman said the investment will support the development of artificial general intelligence (AGI) -- AI with the capacity to learn any intellectual task that a human can -- with "widely distributed" economic benefits. To this end, OpenAI intends to partner with Microsoft to jointly develop new AI technologies for the Seattle company's Azure cloud platform and will enter into an exclusivity agreement with Microsoft to "further extend" large-scale AI capabilities that "deliver on the promise of AGI." Additionally, OpenAI will license some of its technologies to Microsoft, which will commercialize them and sell them to as-yet-unnamed partners, and OpenAI will train and run AI models on Azure as it works to develop new supercomputing hardware while "adhering to principles on ethics and trust." "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.
LOS ANGELES - Microsoft on Monday announced a $1 billion investment in an OpenAI ethical artificial intelligence project backed by Tesla's Elon Musk and Amazon. The partnership will be devoted to developing advanced AI models on Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform while adhering to "shared principles on ethics and trust," the companies said in a joint release. OpenAI and Microsoft expressed a vision of "artificial general intelligence" (AGI) working with people to help solve daunting problems such as climate change. OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman said the goal of the effort is to allow artificial intelligence to be "deployed safely and securely and that its economic benefits are widely distributed." Microsoft will become the preferred partner for commercializing new "supercomputing" artificial intelligence technologies developed as part of the initiative.