Microsoft to invest $1 billion into developing Azure services

Multinational tech company, Microsoft, is investing $1 billion (around $1.3 billion Canadian) into artificial intelligence start-up, Open AI LP, as a way of growing its Azure cloud computing platform.

The news comes after Microsoft recently praised its Azure cloud computing service for helping the company increase in profits by 12%, with Azure having a specific increase of 64% in sales in the last quarter, making the software giant the world’s most valuable public company.

Combining cloud with AI

The businesses are joining forces in the hopes of developing supercomputing technologies for Microsoft’s Azure service, with their main focus being on artificial general intelligence.

Both Open AI LP and Microsoft say they want to focus on this type of AI so they can work on a much broader field that has a fairer representation of what the future of AI holds.

Chief Executive Satya Nadella said, “The quintessential characteristic for any application being built in 2019 and beyond will be AI,”

As part of the deal, the AI firm has said that they will use some “pre-AGI technologies” and will run its amenities on Azure and use Microsoft as its main partner in commercializing its AI technologies.

A growing company

The software giant has been slowly evolving Azure’s features, but now hopes that with the investment and collaboration, they will be able to develop growth and sales much further.

Stifel analyst Brad Reback has commented, “This is a big investment for Microsoft, even at their size,” adding, “They’ll do scores of acquisitions annually but most of them tend to be smaller technology tuck-ins.”

Open AI started in 2015 with the aim of moving forward with general artificial intelligence. The business has since found itself competing with leading businesses like Google’s sister company, Alphabet Inc.

The AI firm changed from a not-for-profit to a private company earlier this year.

Shaping the “trajectory of humanity”

The co-founder and chairman of Open AI, Greg Brockman, has said that they do not plan on spending the investment money in more than 5 years.

On speaking of the collaboration, Open AI wrote in a press release, “We believe that the creation of beneficial AGI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity,”