New multi-year, multibillion-dollar investment in ChatGPT-maker OpenAI

On Monday, Microsoft announced it was making a new, large-scale investment in artificial intelligence lab and ChatGPT-creator OpenAI. The dollar amount is believed to be as much as $10 billion.

The deal marks the third phase of the partnership between the two companies, following Microsoft’s previous investments in 2019 and 2021. Microsoft said the renewed partnership will accelerate breakthroughs in AI and help both companies commercialize advanced technologies in the future.

“We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a blog post.

OpenAI is ranked by AI researchers as one of the top three AI labs worldwide. The company is probably most famous for its AI text generator GPT-3 and its AI image generator DALL-E.

Microsoft’s investment will help the two companies engage in supercomputing at scale and create new AI-powered experiences, the release said.

Microsoft will leverage OpenAI in its efforts to compete with Alphabet, Amazon, and Meta in the fast-growing technology that generates text, images, and other media in response to short prompts.

OpenAI needs Microsoft’s funding and cloud-computing power to crunch massive volumes of data and run the increasingly complex models that allow programs like DALL-E to generate realistic images based on a handful of words, and ChatGPT to create human-like conversational text. ChatGPT automatically generates text based on written prompts that’s much more advanced and creative than previous chatbots. The software launched last November and quickly went viral gaining more than a million users within days.

OpenAI works closely with Microsoft’s cloud service Azure which will continue to serve as OpenAI’s exclusive cloud provider.

Microsoft makes its Azure OpenAI Service more broadly available

Microsoft also said earlier this month that it planned to add ChatGPT to Azure and announced the broad availability of its Azure OpenAI Service, which has previously been an option available to only a limited number of customers since it was launched in 2021.

The Azure OpenAI Service gives Microsoft’s cloud customers access to various OpenAI tools like the GPT-3.5 language system that ChatGPT is based on, as well as the DALL-E model for generating images from text prompts. The service will enable Azure customers to use the OpenAI products in their own applications running in the cloud.