You might not have to wait long to see how Microsoft and OpenAI deepen their relationship. Microsoft has confirmed plans for an event tomorrow (invitations were sent out last week) at its Redmond headquarters at 1PM Eastern. The company will only say that chief Satya Nadella will share details on some “exciting projects,” but it’s expected to show its integration of ChatGPT into Bing and other uses of the conversational AI technology.
Microsoft is already heavily invested in OpenAI’s ecosystem with a DALL-E graphic design app, a natural language programming tool and a Teams Premium service with AI translations and chapters. ChatGPT is coming to Azure cloud services, too, and Microsoft just released a GPT-based text generator trained on medical literature. The rumored Bing feature may be its most prominent OpenAI collaboration yet, however. Rumors suggest Microsoft’s search engine will use ChatGPT for conversation-style answers to questions. You might get exactly the information you need rather than cards and a list of search results.
Microsoft first invested in OpenAI in 2019, and backed the startup again in 2021. Last month, it committed to a “multibillion dollar” deal that’s unofficially believed to be worth $10 billion over several years.
The news comes shortly after Google offered a first look at Bard, its take on a ChatGPT-style service. While Google eventually plans to make Bard public, it’s starting out by offering a limited version to a handful of trusted users before scaling up. The firm wants to be sure Bard meets high standards for “quality, safety and groundedness” to avoid some of the ethical and factual problems seen with OpenAI’s product.
Both Google and Microsoft are under pressure. While Google was initially reluctant to release its description-based AI to the public, reports suggested the company had a change of heart after seeing ChatGPT as a threat to its search business. Microsoft, meanwhile, has long struggled to compete in search and faces fierce rivalries in both the cloud and productivity realms. OpenAI’s tech theoretically gives Microsoft an advantage Google and others might not match for a while.
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