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Microsoft Boosts OpenAI With Multibillion-Dollar Investment

OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, says the funds will help it "develop AI that is increasingly safe, useful, and powerful."

Microsoft logo on a tablet screen
Microsoft and OpenAI's partnership dates back to 2016.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft announced Monday it has extended its partnership with OpenAI, the startup behind ChatGPT and Dall-E. It said in a blog post that this marks the beginning of the third phase of a multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment.

"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," Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella wrote.

Microsoft said it will increase its investments in the development and deployment of supercomputing systems to support OpenAI's research. Microsoft also said it will deploy OpenAI's models across its consumer and enterprise products. 

"We are excited to continue our independent research and work toward creating advanced AI that benefits everyone," Sam Altman, OpenAI's CEO, said, according to Microsoft.

OpenAI wrote in a separate blog post Monday that despite this investment it will remain a capped-profit company. The Microsoft investment "will allow us to continue our independent research and develop AI that is increasingly safe, useful, and powerful," OpenAI wrote.

Microsoft and OpenAI's partnership began in 2016 when OpenAI agreed to use Microsoft's Azure cloud-computing software to run its artificial intelligence experiments. Then in 2019 Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI to jointly develop new supercomputing tech.

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