In a move to “democratise” artificial intelligence (AI) and making it accessible to everyone, Microsoft has teamed up with OpenAI, a non-profit AI research organisation co-founded by Elon Musk. OpenAI is the $1 billion project co-founded by Tesla CEO Musk, US-based startup incubator “Y Combinator” President Sam Altman and others. As part of the partnership, OpenAI will use Microsoft Azure as its primary cloud platform to help advance their research and create new tools and technologies that are only possible with the cloud.
“OpenAI chose Microsoft due to our deep learning research and ongoing commitment to AI, along with Azure’s support for open source technologies and its unique combination of high performance computing, big data and intelligence capabilities,” Harry Shum, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research Group, posted on its website on Wednesday.
OpenAI is an early adopter of “Azure N-Series Virtual Machines”, which will be generally available starting in December. These virtual machines are designed for the most intensive compute workloads, including deep learning, simulations, rendering and the training of neural networks. They also enable high-end visualisation capabilities to allow for workstation and streaming scenarios by utilising the “NVIDIA GRID” in Azure.
“In addition to OpenAI, other companies like Esri and Jellyfish Pictures are already using Azure N-Series,” Shum said. Microsoft also announced to introduce the Azure Bot Service, a first of its kind in the industry.
With this new service, developers can accelerate the development of bots with the Microsoft Bot Framework and easily deploy and manage them in a serverless environment on Azure. “Running on Azure Functions, these bots can scale on demand and you only pay for the resources your bots consume. “Azure Functions, which is available today, can be used to maximise development agility and operational efficiency of nearly any app or service at lower cost,” Shum further posted.
More than 50,000 developers are already building bots with the Microsoft Bot Framework. Thanks to cloud computing power, more advanced algorithms and the availability of massive amounts of data, the AI field has exploded — allowing computer scientists to create technology many of us only dreamed about just a few years ago.