Microsoft is investing $1 billion into OpenAI, the non-profit group that conducts research into beneficial and ethical artificial intelligence.
OpenAI was founded in 2015 by several Silicon Valley luminaries, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Y Combinator Chairman Sam Altman. At the time, the group received a $1 billion investment, although it needed additional funding for more advanced work, which is where Microsoft has come in.
With the investment, Microsoft has become OpenAI’s exclusive provider of cloud computing services. As part of this arrangement, Microsoft will work with OpenAI to develop a hardware and software platform within its Azure cloud network, as well as new Azure AI supercomputing technologies.
Overall, Microsoft and OpenAI aim to further the field of artificial general intelligence (AGI), or “strong AI” — more advanced AI that can have a significant impact on society.
‘We want AGI to work with people to solve currently intractable multi-disciplinary problems, including global challenges such as climate change, affordable and high-quality healthcare, and personalized education,” the companies said in a joint statement. “We think its impact should be to give everyone economic freedom to pursue what they find most fulfilling, creating new opportunities for all of our lives that are unimaginable today.”