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.
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.
As the waitress approached the table, Sam Altman held up his phone. That made it easier to see the dollar amount typed into an investment contract he had spent the last 30 days negotiating with Microsoft. The investment from Microsoft, signed early this month and announced Monday, signals a new direction for Altman's research lab. In March, Altman stepped down from his daily duties as the head of Y Combinator, the startup "accelerator" that catapulted him into the Silicon Valley elite. Now, at 34, he is the chief executive of OpenAI, the artificial intelligence lab he helped create in 2015 with Elon Musk, the billionaire chief executive of the electric carmaker Tesla.
Elon Musk announced that his company Neuralink plans to link human brains directly to computers, saying the first prototype could be implanted in a person by the end of 2020. Microsoft has agreed to invest $1 billion in and partner with research company OpenAI, co-founded by Elon Musk, to develop artificial general intelligence, a technology that could have human-level intellectual capacity. The companies said Monday that they will build a hardware and software platform of "unprecedented scale" within Microsoft's cloud service provider Azure that will train and run increasingly advanced AI models. Microsoft will also become OpenAI's preferred partner for selling its technologies and the two will jointly develop Azure's supercomputing technology. "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," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in the statement.
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.