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.
OpenAI today announced the creation of OpenAI LP, a for-profit company that will be owned and controlled by the OpenAI nonprofit organization's board of directors. The new Delaware-based limited partnership was created to speed progress toward OpenAI's goal of advancing AI and eventually creating safe artificial general intelligence (AGI) system. OpenAI LP plans to raise and invest billions of dollars in the years ahead. Unlike narrow artificial intelligence common today, which can predict the probability of outcomes or recommend content in your Facebook News Feed, OpenAI defines AGI as a highly autonomous system able to outperform humans at most tasks. Sam Altman will serve as CEO of the new entity, while Greg Brockman will act as CTO and Ilya Sutskever as chief scientist.
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.
We've created OpenAI LP, a new "capped-profit" company that allows us to rapidly increase our investments in compute and talent while including checks and balances to actualize our mission. Our mission is to ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI) benefits all of humanity, primarily by attempting to build safe AGI and share the benefits with the world. We've experienced firsthand that the most dramatic AI systems use the most computational power in addition to algorithmic innovations, and decided to scale much faster than we'd planned when starting OpenAI. We'll need to invest billions of dollars in upcoming years into large-scale cloud compute, attracting and retaining talented people, and building AI supercomputers. We want to increase our ability to raise capital while still serving our mission, and no pre-existing legal structure we know of strikes the right balance.
The Bay Area is famed for nurturing speculative investments like flying cars, floating cities, and the notion that a ride hailing service can turn a profit. A new utopian investment opportunity arrived Monday: Shovel dollars into a San Francisco artificial intelligence lab cofounded by Elon Musk and you'll receive a share of the profits when (or if) it figures out how to create machines smarter than humans. That pitch comes from OpenAI, an independent AI research lab cofounded as a nonprofit in 2015 by Musk and Sam Altman, the president of startup incubator YCombinator. Its stated mission was to safely create software as capable as people, which it terms artificial general intelligence or AGI, and share the benefits with the world. The founders argued society shouldn't have to hope that profit-seeking tech giants would do that.