Microsoft Investing $1 Bn in Elon Musk’s OpenAI to Accelerate AI Breakthroughs

  • The companies will jointly build new Azure AI supercomputing technologies
  • Microsoft will become OpenAI’s preferred partner for commercializing new AI technologies
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI (left), and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Microsoft Corp. and OpenAI, a startup co-founded by Elon Musk, have formed a multiyear technology partnership to further extend Microsoft Azure’s capabilities in large-scale AI systems.

As part of their deal, Microsoft is investing $1 billion in OpenAI to help the startup create artificial general intelligence (AGI).

“The creation of AGI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity,” said Sam Altman, co-founder and CEO of 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,” he added.

The investment goes to OpenAI’s for-profit arm

OpenAI also agreed to transfer its existing on Microsoft Azure, which it will use to create new AI technologies and deliver on the promise of artificial general intelligence.

They will jointly build new Azure AI supercomputing technologies, and Microsoft will become OpenAI’s preferred partner for commercializing its new creations.

“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 Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.

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

OpenAI was founded back in 2015 as a nonprofit with $1bn in funding from Sam Altman, Peter Thiel and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman. Earlier this year, the group created a for-profit entity, called OpenAI LP, to allow it to bring in additional outside investment.

Though the partnership is between Microsoft and the whole entity, the $1 billion investment will go to the for-profit arm,OpenAI said.