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Microsoft's OpenAI investment a positive for developers

The $1bn multi-year investment should put Microsoft developers at the forefront of coming up with artificial intelligence tools for the Azure Cloud

Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella used his keynote at the Inspire partner event last week to reveal to the channel where the future opportunities were going to come from, with AI one of the key technologies mentioned.

Just days since the conference closed Microsoft has followed up with a $1bn investment in OpenAI to develop more artificial intelligence features in Azure Cloud.

The multi-year partnership with OpenAI will see more work being done on general artificial intelligence and is being signaled as a chance for developers to get involved with building the next generation of AI applications.

“AI is one of the most transformative technologies of our time and has the potential to help solve many of our world’s most pressing challenges,” said Nadella.

“By bringing together OpenAI’s breakthrough technology with new Azure AI supercomputing technologies, our ambition is to democratise AI — while always keeping AI safety front and center — so everyone can benefit," he added.

One of the main messages at Inspire was around the idea of using technology to benefit the entire global population, not just elites who could afford the latest tech, and that appears to be a philosophy shared by those running OpenAI.

The Microsoft announcement about the tie-up includes talk of some very ambitious goals including using 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". 

“The creation of artificial general intelligence (AGI) will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity,” said Sam Altman, CEO, OpenAI.

“Our mission is to ensure that AGI technology benefits all of humanity, and we’re working with Microsoft to build the supercomputing foundation on which we’ll build AGI. We believe it’s crucial that AGI is deployed safely and securely and that its economic benefits are widely distributed," he added.

What is general artificial intelligence?

It might sound all a bit science fiction but the aim of general artificial intelligence is to get a machine to the stage where it can understand or learn any intellectual task in the same way a human can.

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