Microsoft invests $1 billion in Elon Musk’s OpenAI


Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella speaks to participants during the Viva Technologie show at Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles on May 24, 2018, in Paris.

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Microsoft is investing $1 billion in Elon Musk’s OpenAI to build artificial intelligence that can tackle more complex tasks, the companies announced Monday.

Through the partnership, the companies will build new Azure AI supercomputing technologies and Microsoft will become OpenAI’s exclusive cloud provider, according to the announcements. The companies said that the technology they plan to build, artificial general intelligence (AGI), will be able to solve more complex problems that AI currently is capable of.

“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. “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.”

Rather than build its own product to make up the costs of building AI technologies, OpenAI said in its announcement that it decided to license some of its “pre-AGI technologies” and make Microsoft its preferred commercialization partner.

Microsoft and OpenAI chose to work together based 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.

OpenAI was co-founded by Musk and Sam Altman, the company’s CEO.

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