Microsoft just invested $1 billion in OpenAI to work on large-scale AI systems

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Microsoft is investing $1 billion in artificial intelligence research company OpenAI, as part of a multiyear partnership, to extend Azure’s capabilities in large-scale AI systems, and general artificial intelligence.

Microsoft and OpenAI will jointly build new Azure AI supercomputing technologies, said the Redmond giant in a news release. OpenAI will port its services to run on Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft will become OpenAI’s preferred partner for commercializing new AI technologies.

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, says the company.

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

“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 Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “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.”

San Francisco, California-based OpenAI is the for-profit corporation owned by the non-profit organization OpenAI doing research in the field of artificial intelligence. OpenAI investors include Reid Hoffman’s charitable foundation and Khosla Ventures. It’s founders include Elon Musk.

Read the OpenAI blog post on the partnership here.

[Image courtesy: Microsoft]