Microsoft will invest “billions” to expand its partnership with the artificial intelligence specialist Open AIcreator of the conversational robot ChatGPTa feared chatbot that could be used to cheat at universities and colleges, according to a joint statement from the two companies released Monday.
In a company blog tweeted by CEO Satya Nadella, the tech giant announced a “multi-billion dollar investment to accelerate AI advances” that would be “shared with the world”.
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OpenAI’s ChatGPT caused an internet sensation when it launched in November, allowing users to experiment with its ability to write essays, articles and poems.
But the teachers are alarmed. ChatGPT is banned at universities and schools, and in cities like New York and Washington, there has been debate about whether it poses a threat to the future of administrative work.
California-based OpenAI also created DALL-E, a program that can quickly draw images and illustrations.
The media estimate that Microsoft has invested $10 billion in OpenAI.
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The announcement comes less than a week after Microsoft said it will lay off 10,000 employees in the coming weeks and redeploy investment to new priorities like artificial intelligence.
In addition to ChatGPT, the “billions of dollars” invested by Microsoft may benefit other software developed by OpenAI, such as Dall-E 2, which allows the generation of images on demand thanks to artificial intelligence, or GitHub Copilot, a computer programming assistant.
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OpenAI plans to release a paid version of ChatGPT, which should offer faster responses and the ability to interact more frequently with the chatbot.
This collaboration will allow Microsoft to use software already developed by OpenAI “in its products for individuals and companies”.
This means that ChatGPT elements could be integrated into applications such as the Outlook email service or the Bing search engine.
“As ChatGPT is one of the most innovative AI technologies in the industry, Microsoft is clearly being aggressive on this front and will not be far behind in what could be a potential game-changing investment in AI.”, estimated the analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities in a note.
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Founded in late 2015 by Tesla owner Elon Musk, one of its early investors, among others, OpenAI is led by Sam Altman, a 37-year-old entrepreneur and former president of startup accelerator Y Combinator.
The company has had financial backing from collaborators including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, investor Peter Thiel and Musk, who served on the board until 2018 but left to focus on Tesla, the electric vehicle company.
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The startup also has a team of computer scientists and researchers led by Ilya Sutskever, a former Google executive specializing in machine learning.
OpenAI had around 200 employees in 2021, according to a query conducted directly on ChatGPT.
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