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Microsoft has invested a billion dollars in OpenAI, a company specializing in artificial intelligence from San Francisco. The companies have announced a multi-year partnership to develop a high-level AI that will ultimately approach human intelligence.

The goal of OpenAI is to develop a complex AI that, in addition to complex skills such as image recognition or chess, can also master new tasks itself, in other words, a self-learning AI. In addition, the development of this artificial intelligence focuses on the fact that humanity benefits from it (“friendly AI”). According to experts, achieving this goal can take decades to more than a century. With this investment, Microsoft makes it possible for OpenAI to continue to aim high and to keep up with other AI players such as Google and Facebook.

The deal of course includes a return for Microsoft, namely that OpenAI will exclusively use Microsoft’s cloud services. This in turn provides OpenAI with the infrastructure it needs to perform the data-intensive tasks required for large-scale AI projects. It is not exactly clear what the investment looks like, but according to OpenAI Chief Technology Officer Greg Brockman a significant part is a “cash investment”. Most of that money will be spent on more computing power. It has also been agreed that Microsoft will eventually become the only source of that money for OpenAI.

One hand washes the other

In return, the lab will support Microsoft’s initiatives in the field of machine learning. Microsoft is now OpenAI’s preferred partner for the commercialization of the company’s AI innovations. OpenAI will therefore license a number of technologies to Microsoft. It will also offer services on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform, and will also collaborate with the company on new projects (little or nothing is known about this yet).

“By bringing together OpenAI’s groundbreaking technology with new AI supercomputing technologies, our ambition is to democratize AI – while maintaining AI’s security – so that everyone can benefit,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. OpenAI was originally founded as a non-profit, but recently it has been working with a new business model. After Altman took over the helm in March, the company shifted most of its activities to a so-called capped-profit called OpenAI LP, allowing investors to expect a modest return. This will make it easier for the company to raise capital to accelerate the development of AI technology.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.