According to Reuters, Microsoft will invest $1 billion in San Francisco’s non-profit organization OpenAI. In addition, both companies also signed a multi-year cooperation agreement to develop artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputing technology on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service platform.
OpenAI was formed in 2015 by Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, as well as other Silicon Valley technology tycoons. It is a non-profit organization, hoping to prevent the catastrophic impact of artificial intelligence while also promoting the technology. This is not the first $1 billion investment that the company will be getting. Silicon Valley investors, Sam Altman, Peter Thiel, and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman have promised to invest $1 billion in the company.
Earlier this year, OpenAI created a related for-profit entity to absorb external investments. According to the company, there will be a return for investors who invest funds in the for-profit entity. However, it is not clear if Microsoft’s investment is in the “for-profit” entity.
Since its inception, OpenAI has made some progress in the field of AI. It has the tech which teaches robotic arms to perform human-like tasks entirely in software. In addition, the company places much emphasis on the security and social impact of artificial intelligence.
For this investment, OpenAI said today that it will help the agency continue to develop “general artificial intelligence” (AGI). In the future, OpenAI will transfer many services to Azure, and Microsoft will become its “preferred” partner to commercialize new services. We don’t know if the $1 billion investment in Microsoft is entirely in cash, or it will involve Azure cloud computing services. However, cloud services are an important expense for OpenAI.