Microsoft invests $1 billion in OpenAI

Microsoft has invested $1 billion in Sam Altman's OpenAI research lab, with the goal of developing artificial general intelligence inside its Azure platform. OpenAI will port their services to Azure, and Azure will be their preferred commercial partner, according to Microsoft's press release.

From OpenAI's blog post:

We’ll jointly develop new Azure AI supercomputing technologies, and Microsoft will become our exclusive cloud provider—so we’ll be working hard together to further extend Microsoft Azure’s capabilities in large-scale AI systems.

In an interview with the New York Times, Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella said that much of the money will ultimately return to Microsoft:

Mr. Nadella said Microsoft would not necessarily invest that billion dollars all at once. It could be doled out over the course of a decade or more. Microsoft is investing dollars that will be fed back into its own business, as OpenAI purchases computing power from the software giant

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August 11th

OpenAI was founded as a non-profit research lab by Elon Musk and Sam Altman in 2015.

In February, 2018, Musk left, citing a conflict of interest with his work on Tesla's autopilot system.

In 2019, with Altman in charge, OpenAI formed OpenAI LP, a for-profit company it wrote will allow them "to rapidly increase our investments in compute and talent while including checks and balances to actualize our mission."

OpenAI has produced some impressive accomplishments-- in early 2019, its neural networks beat the world's best Dota 2 players. And in July, Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI to pursue artificial general intelligence, an accomplishment many think is atill decades away, if not longer.