ChatGPT coming to Azure: New integration shows how Microsoft will leverage OpenAI partnership

Pablo Castro, distinguished engineer on Microsoft Azure’s AI team, demonstrates the Azure OpenAI Service.

Having trouble reliably accessing OpenAI’s ChatGPT? Microsoft has a solution.

The tech giant says it will soon make the generative AI chat technology available as part of its Azure OpenAI Service, which was made generally available on Monday. The service is designed for business and developers using Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to integrate OpenAI technologies into their applications.

It’s part of a broader partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI that started with a $1 billion investment by Microsoft in the San Francisco-based artificial intelligence lab in 2019. Microsoft has recently been reported to be in talks for an additional $10 billion investment in OpenAI, potentially giving it a 49% stake in the company.

ChatGPT is coming soon to the Azure OpenAI Service, which is now generally available, as we help customers apply the world’s most advanced AI models to their own business imperatives. https://t.co/kQwydRWWnZ

— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) January 17, 2023

The release shows how Microsoft is effectively positioning itself as the commercialization arm for OpenAI, a move that could give the Redmond company an edge over rival cloud platforms Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.

ChatGPT is available as a public beta from OpenAI, but it has been difficult for some users to access at times due in part to high demand as interest has soared.

Azure OpenAI Service was released in preview last spring, before ChatGPT was widely available.

ChatGPT has sparked widespread attention in recent months, illustrating the benefits and risks of generative artificial intelligence. The technology gives sophisticated answers and responses to complex and at-times esoteric user prompts, although its accuracy has also been called into question.

The technology also demonstrates the potential for AI to be misused. Seattle Public Schools has joined the educational institutions blocking ChatGPT on school devices, as reported by GeekWire on Monday.

The news comes as Microsoft reportedly looks to integrate OpenAI technologies into more of its products, including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Outlook, according to a report Jan. 7 by The Information. The site previously reported that Microsoft is seeking to integrate OpenAI’s ChatGPT into its Bing search engine.

Existing integrations of OpenAI technology in Microsoft products include the GitHub Copilot feature, which gives software developers a virtual AI pair programmer to suggest code and functions as they write programs.

OpenAI has benefitted from Microsoft’s computing resources and cloud technology in training its AI models, including an Azure supercomputer announced in 2020 for OpenAI’s exclusive use.

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