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Microsoft invests billions into OpenAI after firing 10,000 employees

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Following their earlier investments in 2019 and 2021 and plans to include OpenAI’s tech in its products, Microsoft has made a “multi-year, multi-billion dollar” investment into OpenAI.

The announcement follows Microsoft’s SEC filing on January 18, confirming 10,000 layoffs in Q1 2023 — nearly 5% of its 221,000-strong global workforce — to cut costs “in response to macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities”.

While the exact amount of investment raised hasn’t been revealed, the multi-year, multi-billion investment sure seems to indicate that AI is taking over some jobs.

Microsoft said they’ll increase investments in developing and deploying supercomputing systems for OpenAI’s AI research while continuing to bolster Azure’s AI infrastructure. The company plans to deploy OpenAI’s models across its consumer and enterprise products. They have been planning to leverage ChatGPT’s algorithm to improve customer experience in their Office products, including Word, Powerpoint and Outlook as well as to enhance Bing search recommendations.

ChatGPT has become OpenAI’s most famed product and garnered millions of active users within a few days of public launch in November

“The past three years of our partnership have been great. Microsoft shares our values and we are excited to continue our independent research and work toward creating advanced AI that benefits everyone,” said Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI.

Earlier this month, OpenAI started testing paid ChatGPT version to pay their rising cloud bills. People are suggesting that the company might release a $42-a-month professional plan that offers faster response speed, priority access to new features and service availability during high demand.

Both the company’s partnership will also allow developers and other companies to build on top of GPT, Dall-E, and Codex, through the Azure OpenAI service.

“We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform. In this next phase of our partnership, developers and organizations across industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models, and toolchain with Azure to build and run their applications,” said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft.

OpenAI has also worked to offer its tech in apps like GitHub Copilot and Microsoft Designer. The multi-billion dollar investment also ensures that Microsoft Azure remains OpenAI’s exclusive cloud provider for research, products and API.

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