Microsoft and OpenAI officially extend partnership with multi-billion dollar investment

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Microsoft finally put a ring on it: Weeks of rumors surrounding Big Tech’s hottest romance were put to rest today, as Microsoft and OpenAI officially announced an extended partnership with Microsoft’s new multi-billion dollar investment into the research lab that launched ChatGPT less than two months ago.

In a blog post, OpenAI said “this multi-year, multi-billion dollar investment from Microsoft follows their previous investments in 2019 and 2021, and will allow us to continue our independent research and develop AI that is increasingly safe, useful, and powerful.”

OpenAI remains a capped-profit company governed by nonprofit

The company added that “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 Nonprofit. This structure allows us to raise the capital we need to fulfill our mission without sacrificing our core beliefs about broadly sharing benefits and the need to prioritize safety.”

OpenAI also nodded to the importance of Microsoft Azure, which last week made its Azure OpenAI Service generally available:

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“We’ve worked together to build multiple supercomputing systems powered by Azure, which we use to train all of our models. Azure’s unique architecture design has been crucial in delivering best-in-class performance and scale for our AI training and inference workloads. Microsoft will increase their investment in these systems to accelerate our independent research and Azure will remain the exclusive cloud provider for all OpenAI workloads across our research, API and products.”

Microsoft and OpenAI’s ‘shared ambition’

In a separate Microsoft blog post, chairman and CEO Satya Nadella noted that the partnership was formed around a “shared ambition” to “responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform.”

In the next phase of the partnership, he said, “developers and organizations across industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models, and toolchain with Azure to build and run their applications.”

The blog post also noted that the agreement “extends our ongoing collaboration across AI supercomputing and research and enables each of us to independently commercialize the resulting advanced AI technologies,” and emphasizes that Azure is OpenAI’s exclusive cloud provider, powering all OpenAI workloads across research, products and API services.

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