Microsoft to Funnel Funds Toward AI Research

Microsoft recently revealed that it will be placing a $1 billion investment to OpenAI, a San Francisco-based tech firm. Reuters reported that Microsoft and OpenAI will be working together for years to develop machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. The resulting development will be applied to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing service.

Microsoft revealed that together with OpenAI, it will create innovative technologies through Azure. The collaboration is also expected to improve most Azure services.

According to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, the company is committed to the safe and secure implementation of “artificial general intelligence” or AGI. With the help of Microsoft, OpenAI will strive to work on an AGI. This concept is known as “the holy grail” in AI as it would allow computers to learn and master more than one subject better than humans.

The AI-dedicated company started as a non-profit firm in 2015 with Silicon Valley funding amounting to $1 billion. Investors include LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, and Altman. At the beginning of 2019, the firm opened a for-profit arm to acquire external funding.

The firm has been working on machine learning to improve operation and cost-efficiency. It has also concentrated on the social and safety effects of implementing AI tech. A focus of the group is to develop ways to enable computers to create news articles based on headline suggestions.

As of this writing, the two tech firms have not revealed the terms and conditions of the deal. Both companies also refused to disclose agreements regarding revenues, profits and Microsoft’s return on investment.

Moreover, no information was available pertaining to which form (cash or credit) the investment will take. According to Reuters, OpenAI’s expenditures go towards cloud computing and Microsoft can offer credits for Azure.