Microsoft has announced the third phase of its long-term partnership with OpenAI through a multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment to extend its ongoing collaboration across AI supercomputing and research.
The announcement by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella follows recent media reports that the company was in discussion to purchase a 49 per cent stake worth $10 billion in OpenAI. The funding conditions stipulated that Microsoft would acquire a 49 per cent stake in OpenAI, and the other 49 per cent shared by other investors. The OpenAI parent nonprofit remains with 2 per cent. The agreement follows Microsoft’s previous investments in OpenAI in 2019 and 2021.
Satya said Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI would help accelerate AI breakthroughs to ensure the benefits are broadly shared with the world.
“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,” said Satya. “In this next phase of our partnership, developers and organizations across industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models, and toolchain with Azure to build and run their applications.”
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI said: “The past three years of our partnership have been great. Microsoft shares our values and we are excited to continue our independent research and work toward creating advanced AI that benefits everyone.”
Microsoft said it will increase its investments in the development and deployment of specialized supercomputing systems to accelerate OpenAI’s groundbreaking independent AI research. It will also continue to build out Azure’s leading AI infrastructure to help customers build and deploy their AI applications on a global scale.
The company added that it will deploy OpenAI’s models across its consumer and enterprise products and introduce new categories of digital experiences built on OpenAI’s technology. This includes Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service, which empowers developers to build cutting-edge AI applications through direct access to OpenAI models backed by Azure’s enterprise-grade capabilities and AI-optimized infrastructure and tools. As OpenAI’s exclusive cloud provider, Azure will power all OpenAI workloads across research, products and API services.