Microsoft has announced that it will invest billions of dollars over several years in artificial intelligence (AI) and expand its partnership with OpenAI.
The popular image-making tool Dall-E and the chatbot ChatGPT were both made by OpenAI.
In 2019, Microsoft put $1 billion (£808 million) into the company that Elon Musk and tech investor Sam Altman started.
The company that makes Windows and Xbox plan to let go of up to 10,000 people, but it said it would still hire in key strategic areas.
In a memo to employees last week, CEO Satya Nadella told them the news: “AI advances are creating the next big wave of computing.”
When the company announced the new partnership, it said it thought AI would have an “impact as big as the personal computer, the Internet, mobile devices, and the cloud.”
“Code red” means:
OpenAI’s ChatGPT can answer questions in a convincingly human way.
People have talked about how the technology could be used wrongly, like helping students cheat on exams or writing malware. They have also talked about how it could change many industries, including search.
Microsoft owns the search engine Bing, which isn’t as popular as Google but could be a threat to the industry leader, according to some.
The New York Times said that it caused Google to issue a “code red” because the company was worried that competitors would be able to cut into its $149bn search business.
Google has kept some AI systems from being used by the public in the past.
The company has said that it can’t release Imagen because of “ethical challenges.”
Researchers said there was a chance that the system, which is trained on data scraped from the web, would learn “harmful stereotypes and representations.”
Microsoft said it would “build AI systems and products that people can trust and are safe.”
It said it would use OpenAI’s technology in both consumer and business products.
The company also makes Dall-E, which makes images based on simple text instructions, and GitHub Copilot, which uses AI to help people write computer code.
Microsoft said that OpenAI would continue to run on Azure, its cloud computing platform.
Earlier reports said that Microsoft was considering investing an additional $10bn in OpenAI, but the company’s announcement did not give a number for the size of its investment.