(Reuters) – Microsoft Corp mentioned on Monday it was investing $1 billion in San Francisco-based OpenAI and that the 2 had shaped a multi-year partnership to develop synthetic intelligence supercomputing applied sciences on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (R) and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on the Microsoft campus are pictured in Redmond, Washington, U.S. in this July 15, 2019 handout photograph. Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures/Handout by way of REUTERS
OpenAI was based in 2015 as a nonprofit with $1 billion in funding from Silicon Valley buyers Sam Altman, Peter Thiel and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, amongst others. Earlier this 12 months, the group created a associated for-profit entity to take in outdoors funding.
Since its founding, OpenAI has employed synthetic intelligence researchers to make advances in the sector, resembling instructing a robotic hand to carry out human-like duties solely in software program, slicing down the price and time to practice robots.
The group has additionally targeted on the security and social implications of AI, researching how computer systems can generate sensible information tales with little greater than headline options and warning researchers to think about how their work and algorithms may be misused by unhealthy actors earlier than publishing them.
OpenAI mentioned the Microsoft funding would assist it pursue “artificial general intelligence,” or AGI. An AGI is the holy grail of the sector and would imply the computing system can grasp a topic as effectively or higher than the perfect people in the world – and grasp extra fields than any single human.
“We believe it’s crucial that AGI is deployed safely and securely and that its economic benefits are widely distributed,” Altman mentioned in an announcement. “We are excited about how deeply Microsoft shares this vision.”
Microsoft mentioned the 2 firms would collectively construct new AI applied sciences on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service. The two additionally mentioned that OpenAI would transfer many, although not all, of its providers to Azure and that Microsoft could be its “preferred” associate to commercialize new providers.
The two events declined to reply questions from Reuters in regards to the phrases of the deal. Earlier this 12 months, OpenAI created a for-profit restricted partnership to take outdoors funding. The for-profit entity is in the end managed by the nonprofit’s board.
When OpenAI created the construction in March, it mentioned buyers who put cash into the for-profit entity would have their returns capped and that the nonprofit’s mission would take priority over turning a revenue.
Microsoft and OpenAI declined to reply questions on whether or not and the way Microsoft’s return on its $1 billion funding could be capped, or how any income and income from collectively developed applied sciences could be shared.
The two corporations additionally declined to say whether or not Microsoft’s funding could be made in money, or whether or not it might contain credit for the Azure cloud computing service.
Cloud computing providers are…