Microsoft, which committed $1 billion to the artificial intelligence research organization three years ago, is reportedly considering providing additional funding to OpenAI.
The Wall Street Journal and The Information reported the news on Thursday. OpenAI and Microsoft are in “advanced talks” on a fundraising round. It’s currently unknown how much funding or at what valuation the research company is seeking.
According to The Information, OpenAI gained a value of roughly $20 billion in a stock offering last year. Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management, Bedrock Capital and Andreessen Horowitz were reportedly involved in the stock transaction.
Microsoft and OpenAI are still going strong
Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019 and said that it created a supercomputer on its Azure public cloud platform to help OpenAI’s machine learning research the following year.
The research group uses the supercomputer — which features 10,000 graphics cards and 285,000 central processing unit cores — for activities such as neural network training. Since its $1 billion investment in 2019, Microsoft’s work with OpenAI has grown into numerous new domains.
Earlier this month, Microsoft revealed plans to make OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 AI technology available to Azure cloud platform users. DALL-E 2 can produce images automatically in response to human input.
Google does not want to be left behind
A fresh round of financing from Microsoft might help OpenAI broaden the scope of its machine learning research. Furthermore, such an investment may indirectly boost Microsoft’s internal product development initiatives. Microsoft has integrated OpenAI-developed neural networks into various products and may pursue a similar route with future AI systems released by the research organization.
Google, one of Microsoft’s main cloud competitors, has prioritized AI development in recent years. The organization’s research division regularly invests in innovative machine-learning technologies. DeepMind, a subsidiary of Alphabet, is likewise aiming to expand the capabilities of AI software. Google has used DeepMind technology in a variety of applications throughout the years.