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Microsoft makes multi-billion dollar AI push

(Image credit: Image Credit: StockStudio / Shutterstock)

Microsoft is betting heavily on AI, and it’s more than happy to put money where its mouth is - investing $1 billion in OpenAI, an AI research firm from San Francisco.

The news was broken by Gregg Brockman, the company’s CTO. In a blog post, he wrote that the investment will help develop Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), which has the ability to learn anything a human can do.

Brockman believes this can have various economic benefits.

Investment aside, OpenAI will team up with Microsoft to develop AI solutions for its cloud offering Azure. Some of the built technologies will be exclusively Microsoft’s, for the company to sell, or offer, to its clients. At the same time, OpenAI will train and run AI models on Azure.

“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 Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “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 centre — so everyone can benefit.”

OpenAI was founded by a couple of high-profile names. Besides the abovementioned CTO Greg Brockman, other important figures include chief scientist Ilya Sutskever and Elon Musk. LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Sam Altman (ex Y Combinator president) are among the company’s luminaries.