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Microsoft Expands Partnership with OpenAI, Investing $1 Billion into AI Project

Aug 5, 2019 by CharismaticMannequin

Well folks, brace for Skynet, because Microsoft and OpenAI are turning the dial up to 11 when it comes to developing true artificial intelligence. Announced on Monday, 22nd July, Microsoft unveiled its plans to partner with OpenAI, a company founded by Elon Musk and Sam Altman, Y Combinator’s chairman.

The goal is for OpenAI to build AI technology from Microsoft’s Azure platform, with OpenAI’s services running exclusively on Microsoft’s cloud. OpenAI, since its founding in 2015, has developed technology that aids computers understand human language, train robots to perform household tasks, and outplay humans in DOTA2, a competitive online game. Elon Musk stepped away from the company some time ago, considering a conflict-of-interest with Tesla and its own AI business. 

“Earlier this year, OpenAI brought Altman on full-time as its CEO, around the same time that it moved away from being a non-profit

Its expanded partnership with Microsoft has a few parts to it, according to the press release. OpenAI will move to use the Microsoft Azure cloud exclusively for developing and running its software, and the two will work together on building new AI systems. Microsoft will also be OpenAI's "preferred partner for commercializing new AI technologies," likely meaning that OpenAI software will carry integrations with the Azure cloud.” (Business Insider)

The press release also went on to indicate that both companies share a vision around Artificial General Intelligence (AGI):

“OpenAI and Microsoft's vision is for Artificial General Intelligence to work with people to help solve currently intractable multi-disciplinary problems, including global challenges such as climate change, more personalized healthcare and education,”

AI is kind of a buzzword in the tech world today, with limited applications already in use. The goal is to have true artificial intelligence can learn and adapt from us as users, helping us in a range of issues, both local and global. 

How AI will develop, I’m not sure. People involved in the pursuit of AI are being very cautious; once we develop an AI, we won’t be the smartest ‘species’ on the planet anymore, and we better hope what we’ve created doesn’t have the motivation or ability to put us in a difficult position. 

Sound fantastical and silly? Agree that we should be cautious with AI application to our lives? Share your comments below.


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