Microsoft invests $1 bn in OpenAI startup

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman (left) and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Microsoft on Monday announced to invest $1 billion in Artificial Intelligence (AI) start-up called OpenAI. The multi-year partnership will jointly develop new supercomputing technologies on Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform.

The resulting enhancements to the Azure platform will also help developers build the next generation of AI applications, Microsoft said in a statement.

"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 centre - so everyone can benefit," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said.

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 also become OpenAI's preferred partner for commercialising new AI technologies.

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.

"The creation of AI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity," OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said.

Over the past decade, innovative applications of deep neural networks coupled with increasing computational power have led to continuous AI breakthroughs in areas such as vision, speech, language processing, translation, robotic control and even gaming.

"OpenAI and Microsoft's vision is for artificial general intelligence to work with people to help solve currently intractable multidisciplinary problems, including global challenges such as climate change, more personalized healthcare and education," said the companies.
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