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Microsoft & OpenAI forge path into AI supercomputing

23 Jul 2019

Microsoft and OpenAI say they’re thinking deeply about some of the major impacts and discussion points about artificial intelligence (AI) – which is why they’re taking the lead in developing and commercialising new AI supercomputing technologies. 

Microsoft and OpenAI are on a mission to build secure, trustworthy, and ethical AI that can serve the public. They will use Microsoft Azure to build this AI.

“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,” declares Microsoft CEO Satya 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 centre — so everyone can benefit.”

The partnership will extend Microsoft Azure’s capabilities in large-scale AI systems, with the aim of speeding up AI ‘breakthroughs’. 

The companies explain that over the past decade, innovative applications of deep neural networks coupled with increasing computational power have led to continuous AI breakthroughs – language processing, robotic control, vision, and gaming are just a few examples.

The partnership also allows OpenAI to further its efforts to create artificial general intelligence (AGI). 

OpenAI will port its services o run on Microsoft Azure, which will be used to create new AI technologies and AGI.

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

“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. We are excited about how deeply Microsoft shares this vision.”

Both of these will bring enhancements to Microsoft Azure that developers can use to build the next generation of AI applications.

The companies explain that they will focus on building a computational platform in Azure of unprecedented scale. This platform ‘will train and run increasingly advanced AI models, include hardware technologies that build on Microsoft’s supercomputing technology, and adhere to the two companies’ shared principles on ethics and trust’. 

The companies believe this will pave the way for AI advancements that can be implemented safely, securely, and in a trustworthy way.

“Modern AI systems work well for the specific problem on which they’ve been trained, but getting AI systems to help address some of the hardest problems facing the world today will require generalisation and deep mastery of multiple AI technologies.”

“OpenAI and Microsoft’s vision is for artificial general intelligence to work with people to help solve currently intractable multidisciplinary problems, including global challenges such as climate change, more personalised healthcare and education.”