Microsoft and OpenAI do the Expected Officially
It's happening, Microsoft owns a good deal of ChatGPT and GPT-4.
With the popularity of ChatGPT and the promise of GPT-4, Microsoft announced a new multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment with the artificial intelligence lab OpenAI.
This multi-year, multi-billion dollar investment from Microsoft follows their previous investments in 2019 and 2021, and will allow OpenAI to attempt to continue their “independent research and develop AI that is increasingly safe, useful, and powerful.”
From the point of view of Microsoft, this is their attempt to accelerate Generative A.I. adoption into their software and Azure AI services.
Supercomputing at scale – Microsoft will increase our investments in the development and deployment of specialized supercomputing systems to accelerate OpenAI’s groundbreaking independent AI research. We will also continue to build out Azure’s leading AI infrastructure to help customers build and deploy their AI applications on a global scale.
New AI-powered experiences – Microsoft will deploy OpenAI’s models across our consumer and enterprise products and introduce new categories of digital experiences built on OpenAI’s technology. This includes Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service, which empowers developers to build cutting-edge AI applications through direct access to OpenAI models backed by Azure’s trusted, enterprise-grade capabilities and AI-optimized infrastructure and tools.
Exclusive cloud provider – As OpenAI’s exclusive cloud provider, Azure will power all OpenAI workloads across research, products and API services.
OpenAI’s evolution with GPT-4 will be particularly symbiotic now with Microsoft, that is expected to own a 49% stake in OpenAI moving forwards.
Sam Altman has become a bit of a cult-like figure on Twitter of late, when Elon Musk was a co-founder of OpenAI, it’s no surprise those ChatGPT tweets went so viral.
OpenAI however is still trying to wax idealistic, though how much I buy it remains mixed, it says: “In pursuit of our mission to ensure advanced AI benefits all of humanity, OpenAI remains a capped-profit company and is governed by the OpenAI non-profit.”
OpenAI is not even open about its research so hardly a leader in the democratization of A.I. It is entirely commercialized now practically like a research wing of Microsoft. What DeepMind is to Google, OpenAI has become for Microsoft.
Yet even Microsoft is claiming fair use in its AI for Good contribution to the world. It says: “Since 2016, Microsoft has committed to building Azure into an AI supercomputer for the world, serving as the foundation of our vision to democratize AI as a platform.”
Both entities claim to be into democratizing A.I, however their association raises more antitrust and centralization of A.I. questions in the Cloud, than good steps to empowering open-source, accessibility or fair use with proper A.I. regulations.
Can Microsoft Take on Google Search?
You can see and vote in my poll about this here.
Some believe Bing with ChatGPT like we will see later in 2023, could lead to Google losing some of its search monopoly that is a $149 Billion search Ad business. Bing is approximately only $12 billion, but what will it become with ChatGPT and this OpenAI partnership?
While ChatGPT is popular, who knows how well a $42 pro monthly subscription will do.
Microsoft said the renewed partnership will accelerate breakthroughs in AI and help both companies commercialize advanced technologies. That sounds like the voice of Satya Nadella himself. I just don’t know if this is actually a good thing for A.I.
Microsoft was rumored to be investing (Semafor) $10 billion into OpenAI, the creators of popular AI tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E 2. We can only assume they got the deal they wanted and that OpenAI will be able to commercialize GPT-4 even better now.
Microsoft’s partnership enables it to capitalize on OpenAI’s technology. Presumably to be relevant or even a first-mover in Generative A.I. adoption. As good as Microsoft Research is, it’s not at a level of operationalizing its research very well like a DeepMind is beginning to get better at, so it needed a more specialized LLM lab like OpenAI to do some of the commercialization role.
Many of the A.I. labs now pretend to have an A.I. for Good ethos or mission statement, but how much of it is even true or just marketing and PR? This makes the entire community less trusting.
“The past three years of our partnership have been great,” said Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI. “Microsoft shares our values and we are excited to continue our independent research and work toward creating advanced AI that benefits everyone.”
What indeed are your values Sam? Anthropic A.I. seems to have its own version of LLM laws in terms of A.I. alignment, by releasing the demo prone to errors a lot of damage has been done to the reputation of consumer A.I. and how tools are used for manipulation online.
Selling out to Microsoft is an appealing short-term injection of cash, but what will it do to the so-called Open ecosystem? The future of LLMs might become more secret, with more A.I. labs selling out. Stability A.I could become the underling of Amazon’s AWS, it’s all almost predictable.
ChatGPT automatically generates text based on written prompts in a fashion that’s much more advanced and creative than the chatbots of Silicon Valley’s past. What happens when GPT-4 powers even more powerful text-to-code and text-to-video capabilities? Is the consumer or the internet user really a winner in such a scenario?
Google Ads was trending on Twitter a few days after their epic 12,000 layoffs. Clearly Microsoft has an opportunity to hurt Google search and maybe even Google Cloud’s growth with AzureAI’s coming-out party with OpenAI integration and GPT-4’s grand unveiling later in 2023.
There is a sense that LLMs are transformative, just five years after the first paper. What will Generative A.I. be able to do in the next five years? As Microsoft software, Canva, Adobe, ByteDance and others upgrade themselves with Generative A.I. tools what will software and apps and no-code be capable of in just a few years time?
These innovations have captured imaginations and introduced large-scale AI as a powerful, general-purpose technology platform that we believe will create transformative impact at the magnitude of the personal computer, the internet, mobile devices and the cloud.
I’m not so sure I’d put it that way, but there is at least some enthusiasm and optimism that we are heading in a good direction for A.I. adoption at scale with some actual utility in how ChatGPT can be used and how prompt-engineering has capabilities of chaining different tools together in innovative ways to accomplish tasks in more automated and even creative ways.
The deal will see Microsoft increase its investments in the development and deployment of supercomputing systems to assist OpenAI’s research. When you need supercomputer prowess, it’s not a very open system, I’ll not be the first to point out. A.I. is not being “democratized”, it’s making very powerful elitist corporate entities even more powerful to supposedly take on their counterparts in places like China, with even more U.S. National Security and Defense collaboration.
It’s not the kind of technological capitalism that typically has a good ending where Silicon Valley, Venture Capital power is tied to Government, where the consumer has no choice to opt-in, they just must just to keep up. It’s not heading to the kind of fair internet I’d want my children or grandchildren to be using.
There are dystopian linings in the great collaborations of the space. More A.I. labs will pursue the OpenAI game-plan, of selling out to the highest bidder. Microsoft says it will use the OpenAI partnership to develop supercomputing systems that aim to advance independent research and development for AI capabilities, which in a press release, OpenAI claims “is increasingly safe, useful, and powerful.” Only Google, Meta and Amazon will be able to keep up, along with Nvidia, ByteDance and a small handful of companies world-wide.
This winner-takes-all capitalism is a dangerous game Microsoft is playing. OpenAI seems only too pleased to become a pawn in the ecosystem. OpenAI has used this infrastructure to train its breakthrough models, which are now deployed in Azure to power category-defining AI products like GitHub Copilot, DALL·E 2 and ChatGPT. Both of which are just new subscription revenues for Microsoft, one $19 and the other $42.
Do you have $60 to donate to the future of A.I.? It’s not really negotiable.
All 🙏🏾 pray to the altar of A.I. because the Azure OpenAI service features a number of AI models made by OpenAI including GPT-3.5, Codex, and DALL-E, so businesses and developers can utilize these systems in their own apps and workloads.
Thanks for reading!
Interesting and thx 4 sharing your thoughts here!