Microsoft on Monday confirmed it is making a “multibillion dollar” investment in OpenAI, the company behind the viral new AI chatbot tool called ChatGPT.
Microsoft, an early investor in OpenAI, said it plans to expand its existing partnership with the company as part of a greater effort to add more artificial intelligence to its suite of products. In a separate blog post, OpenAI said the multi-year investment will be used to “develop AI that is increasingly safe, useful, and powerful.”
“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,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, said in a statement.
The deepening partnership between the two companies has the potential to supercharge OpenAI’s ambitious projects, including ChatGPT, which has captured the attention of – and sometimes sparked concerns from – academics, business leaders and tech enthusiasts with its ability to create provide lengthy and thorough responses to user prompts and questions.
The investment could also catapult Microsoft as an AI leader and ultimately pave the way for the company to incorporate ChatGPT into some of its hallmark applications, such as Word, PowerPoint and Outlook.
As a result of its existing exclusive deal with OpenAI, Microsoft recently said it would soon add ChatGPT features to to its cloud computing service, Azure. If ChatGPT becomes available on that service, businesses could use the tools directly within its apps and services, too.
The investment comes days after Microsoft announced plans to lay off 10,000 employees as part of broader cost-cutting measures. Nadella said at the time that the company will continue to invest in “strategic areas for our future” and pointed to advances in AI as “the next major wave” of computing.
Since OpenAI opened up access to ChatGPT