Microsoft has clinched a new partnership agreement with Elon Musk-funded OpenAI. Microsoft has made this move as a follow-up to its interest in expanding its Azure cloud computing service. OpenAI aims to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputing technologies.
Recently, Microsft has invested $1 billion dollars towards developing an Azure-based hardware and software platform geared toward artificial general intelligence (AGI). In return, Elon Musk-founded OpenAI will confer Microsoft as their exclusive cloud provider. Evidently, the terms of this agreement seal the partnership between the two.
All about OpenAI
OpenAI is a nonprofit AI research organization co-founded by Musk, Peter Thiel, and Y Combinator’s Sam Altman. The organization aims to develop beneficial, open-source AI to counter the future rise of harmful AI. In a nutshell, the key goal is to make AI widely available.
To this end, the $1 billion boost due to Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI is a crucial opening.
Back in early 2018, Musk stepped down from the Board of Directors to ward off conflicts with Tesla’s Autopilot program. Regardless, he is still the advisor and benefactor of the program.
Although private investment has largely funded the ambitious venture, it is not sufficient to cushion the long-term goals. The future of OpenAI needs greater resources.
OpenAI: Sealing the deal with Microsoft investment
What’s more, there are many reasons why OpenAI opted for the Microsoft investment to seal the partnership with Microsoft. One of the reasons was to meet the financial constraints created by computing hardware needs. In addition to this, the financial need to retain the top talent is also an important factor. OpenAI’s tax filings from 2016 state that the top researcher was paid a $1.9 million dollar salary. And not just that, the other researchers were also receiving significant amounts. Furthermore, as per the press release of OpenAI, increased capital for computational power, licensing some of the pre-AGI technologies.
The OpenAI and Microsoft connection
OpenAI and Microsoft share an old connection. It goes back to 2016. Back then, the companies had jointly announced that they were working together to carry out most of OpenAI’s large-scale experiments on Azure. Therefore, Azure went on to become their primary cloud platform for deep learning and AI. Moreover, it helped optimize for AI computing needs to expand the potential of AI.
Microsoft and OpenAI have jointly stated that the democratization of AI is their one major goal. In this line, cloud computing is an essential key, among others. This is because hardware and software resources are no longer need to be local to the user.
OpenAI has already had an impressive lineup of AI-powered ventures. For instance, it successfully taught AI bots in 2017 to create their own communicative language with each other through trial and error. Responding to the clues given by researchers like “Go to” or “Look at” by the researchers, the bots were to create their own machine language to communicate with each other.
On the horizon, OpenAI’s latest partnership with Microsoft will stand it in good stead in future AI-projects. Microsoft’s $1 billion boost is the key to changing the ball game. As we can guess, it will open up avenues for OpenAI to unlock even more advanced AI feats.