Microsoft would be ready to bet big on OpenAI: the software giant would consider investing up to 10 billion dollars (9.34 billion euros), according to articles from the specialized media Semafor and the Bloomberg agency, which report, Tuesday, January 10, “ongoing discussions”. OpenAI? It’s the small Californian company that has become a star in a booming field: “generative” artificial intelligence (AI), which consists in having content created by software. The company caused a sensation when it launched ChatGPT in November, an interface capable of creating stunning texts in response to queries. In July, OpenAI had already released Dall-E2, a tool capable of producing an image from a simple written description.
Such an investment would value OpenAI at $29 billion. And would further tie the coveted start-up to Microsoft’s ship. Indeed, the software group has already entered into a first partnership with OpenAI in 2019, in which it brought a billion dollars. The deal provided access to the software giant’s servers and its computing power in the cloud, of which it is number two in the world. software like Dall-E or ChatGPT are very computationally intensive, which is very expensive for OpenAI − a few pennies for each user request, according to its CEO Sam Altman.
The details of the new agreement between the two structures have not yet been finalized or known, however, warn Bloomberg and Semafor : the discussions have been going on for several months and it is not yet certain that they will succeed. OpenAI is also a somewhat atypical structure: it was founded in 2015 as a non-profit organization, by “tech” figures: Sam Altman, from the Y Combinator fund, Reid Hoffman, from the LinkedIn social network, Peter Thiel , founder of the PayPal payment service who became a supporter of Donald Trump, or Elon Musk, boss of Tesla, SpaceX and buyer of Twitter − who distanced himself in 2018. In 2019, OpenAI took the form of a lucrative but with a “capped” profit for investors. The association with Microsoft would have a somewhat “complicated”, according to Semafor : the group would receive 75% of future profits until reimbursement of its investment, then it would take a share in a structure shared with OpenAI and other funds or investors, already present or incoming.
Regardless of the details, Microsoft reaffirms its faith in OpenAI. And its strategic bet to improve its products with AI. The group led by Satya Nadella hopes, for example, to be able to integrate ChatGPT with its Bing search engine, according to the site. The Information : Internet users, rather than receiving a list of thematic links, could obtain a written response, or even discuss with the interface on the subject of their request. Microsoft would thus position itself against Google, the undisputed leader in research but also number three in the cloud and a leading player in AI.
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