Microsoft invests $1 billion in OpenAI

Group commits to using Azure as exclusive cloud provider in its pursuit of artificial general intelligence

OpenAI today announced that it is accepting $1 billion in investment from Microsoft as it pursues its goal of creating artificial general intelligence.

As part of the partnership, Microsoft and its Azure platform will become OpenAI's exclusive cloud provider. Additionally, the two companies will work together to create Azure AI technologies and create platforms within Azure that can scale to artificial general intelligence.

"OpenAI is producing a sequence of increasingly powerful AI technologies, which requires a lot of capital for computational power," OpenAI chief technology officer Greg Brockman explained in a blog announcing the partnership. "The most obvious way to cover costs is to build a product, but that would mean changing our focus. Instead, we intend to license some of our pre-AGI technologies, with Microsoft becoming our preferred partner for commercializing them."

As it builds toward artificial general intelligence, OpenAI has been tackling smaller, more narrowly defined AI problems along the way. Some of those have been in games, where the company used machine learning to create a team of AI agents that beat DOTA 2 world champions Team OG in two straight matches earlier this year.

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