Do not invest more money than you can afford to lose.
The potential of artificial intelligence has long captured the human imagination and is increasingly being put into practice in various fields. But in the last few months, the general public seems to have begun to get a real sense of the enormous capacity of this technology. This has happened thanks to the impressive works of AI image generators and especially ChatGPT – a language generation model developed by OpenAI, a startup founded by Elon Musk and Sam Altman.
OpenAI made its ChatGPT chatbot available for free public testing on 30 November. Since then this chatbot has caused a real furore thanks to its natural-sounding responses that mimic human speech very convincingly, as well as its ability to perform complex tasks such as writing efficient computer code and composing high-quality texts on a wide range of topics. ChatGPT also impresses with its ability to answer follow-up questions. Users utilize ChatGPT for everything from generating code for apps to drafting student essays.
Free access to the software for millions of users is quite costly for OpenAI, because each request results in a cost of several cents for the company. But this pricey advertising campaign is already paying off.
Tech giant Microsoft, which is already one of the startup’s backers, intends to invest an additional $10 billion in OpenAI , according to the news website Semafor. The deal is part of a funding round with other investors involved that would value OpenAI at $29 billion.
According to Semafor’s sources, after the new funding injection, Microsoft would get 75% of OpenAI’s profits until it recoups its investment. After this point is reached, profit sharing would reflect each party’s stake in OpenAI: Microsoft would take 49%, other investors would get 49%, and OpenAI’s nonprofit parent would get 2%.
The software giant invested $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019, and Microsoft’s cloud services arm provides the computing power needed by the innovative company. The size of the new investment reflects the potential impact that ChatGPT could have on Microsoft’s various products.
Microsoft already uses OpenAI features internally to power natural language processes in Power BI, Power Apps, and GitHub Copilot. But Microsoft has hopes that the technologies developed by OpenAI will finally allow it to compete with Google in the Internet search sphere.
Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, could use ChatGPT to provide more accurate and natural results to users. The ChatGPT language generation model could also be used to generate summaries of web pages, making it easier for users to find the information they need. Additionally, ChatGPT could be used to generate natural language questions based on a user’s search query, making it easier for users to find the information they are looking for.
In December, Morgan Stanley published a report examining whether ChatGPT is a threat to Google. Brian Nowak, the bank’s lead analyst on Alphabet, wrote that language models could take market share “and disrupt Google’s position as the entry point for people on the Internet.”
Information has already emerged in the tech media that a new version of Bing is being prepared that will use the artificial intelligence behind ChatGPT. According to unconfirmed information, this could happen by the end of March.
Microsoft said in a blog post last year that it planned to integrate image-generation software from OpenAI, DALL-E 2, into Bing.
Of course Google doesn’t intend to go down without a fight. The company is investing heavily in the development of its own chatbot technology called Language Model for Dialogue Applications. Unlike the ChatGPT, the general public does not have access to this software. But this AI seems to be so advanced and sophisticated that it led one Google engineer to announce that it has become sentient.
Undoubtedly, both tech giants will rely on artificial intelligence in an attempt to counteract slower growth in their advertising revenues.
Cortana, Microsoft’s personal assistant, could also benefit from the integration of ChatGPT. The AI could be used to improve Cortana’s natural language processing capabilities, making it easier for users to interact with the assistant using their voice. Additionally, ChatGPT could be used to generate more natural and accurate responses to users’ questions, providing a more seamless and efficient experience.
But it’s not certain that the corporation will direct AI resources specifically to Cortana, which at this point looks like a failure. Microsoft has been working on a service called “Bing Concierge Bot” since at least 2016. In 2021 and has been tested publicly in various geographies since then in the form of a Bing chat bot. Some Bing users reported seeing the experimental Bing chatbot pop up when doing web searches at various points in 2021 and 2022.
3. Microsoft Office
Office, Microsoft’s suite of productivity tools, could also be enhanced with the use of ChatGPT. The model could be used to generate more accurate and natural language translations within Office, allowing users to work with documents in multiple languages. Additionally, ChatGPT could be used to generate summaries of documents, making it easier for users to understand and quickly reference the important information within them.
According to sources of the technology outlet The Information, Microsoft is already actively working on such an integration. Users of Microsoft 365 may soon be able to use the software to generate text with simple prompts. In Microsoft Word, ChatGPT language model could help users write more accurately and with fewer errors by suggesting alternative words and phrases as they type. Microsoft could employ ChatGPT in Outlook to write replies to emails or summarize email threads.
However, integration into applications such as Outlook poses difficulties due to the need to use users’ personal info to “train” and optimize AI. Therefore, Myrosoft will probably prioritize integration with Bing.
Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, could also see benefits from the integration of the AI powering ChatGPT. It could be used to provide natural language interfaces for various Azure services, making it easier for developers to interact with the platform. Additionally, ChatGPT could be used to generate natural language documentation for Azure, helping developers quickly understand how to use the platform’s various features.
Microsoft Azure, formerly known as Windows Azure, provides a broad range of cloud services, including compute, analytics, storage and networking. Microsoft’s initial investment in OpenAI was made specifically to improve these services.
Microsoft created an Azure-based supercomputer to train OpenAI’s massive AI models. In 2020, Microsoft obtained an exclusive license to the language model GPT-3. Microsoft also sells what it calls the Azure OpenAI service, which adds Microsoft-provided enterprise capabilities to the core OpenAI models.
5. Skype and Teams
Skype and Teams, Microsoft’s communication and collaboration platforms, will also have obvious benefits from integration with ChatGPT capabilities. It could be used to generate more natural and accurate transcriptions of voice and video calls, making it easier for users to search through and understand past conversations. Additionally, ChatGPT could be used to generate more natural and accurate responses during live chats, providing a more seamless communication experience.
But like Cortana, it’s unclear whether the tech behind ChatGPT will be able to breathe new life into the declining Skype. Microsoft themselves have shown a clear preference for developing Teams instead. User-created integrations of ChatGPT with Microsoft Teams can now be found on the web. It is unlikely that the company is not considering something along these lines.
Microsoft has made some unsuccessful investment and management decisions over the years, but the OpenAI bet is certainly not one of them. The advanced technology behind ChatGPT has the potential to change Microsoft by providing more accurate and natural language processing capabilities across several products. Its integration could enhance search results, personal assistance, document processing, cloud services, and communication and collaboration platforms, providing a more efficient and user-friendly experience for the customers.