Microsoft and Elon Musk’s OpenAI company are teaming up to improve the way artificial intelligence (AI) works and use it to solve real-world problems, according to a report by CNBC.
Microsoft is investing $1 billion into the venture, and the companies are going to create new Azure supercomputing tech in the AI field. Microsoft is going to be OpenAI’s exclusive cloud computing partner.
The companies will be working together on artificial general intelligence (AGI), with the goal of working on problems that regular AI can’t tackle.
“Modern AI systems work well for the specific problem on which they’ve been trained, but getting AI systems to help address some of the hardest problems facing the world today will require generalization and deep mastery of multiple AI technologies,” the companies wrote in a press release announcing the partnership. “OpenAI and Microsoft’s vision is for artificial general intelligence to work with people to help solve currently intractable multidisciplinary problems, including global challenges such as climate change, more personalized healthcare and education.”
OpenAI said Microsoft was also going to be its preferred commercialization partner, rather than making its own product. The company also said it was licensing some of its “pre-AGI technologies.” The two companies are collaborating on “shared principles on ethics and trust,” according to the release.
“We believe that the creation of beneficial AGI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity,” OpenAI wrote.
Microsoft also recently announced a partnership with AT&T that would let the communications giant use Microsoft’s Azure cloud system for its computing purposes.
At&T will also be able to use Microsoft 365 for its workers. Under the terms of the deal, the two companies will collaborate on what’s called edge computing, which means that Microsoft technology will be incorporated in AT&T’s forthcoming 5G network.
They will collaborate on speeding up data passage for certain applications, like air traffic for drones. Microsoft will become AT&T’s “preferred” cloud company, and the move will help it gain ground on rivals like Amazon, which is currently the largest cloud provider.
Customers of cloud services run software managed by the providers, in data centers. John Donovan, chief executive of AT&T Communications, said the deal represents a total shift in how the company used to operate, and that it will be “public cloud first,” and rely on data centers to power the business.