Microsoft is reportedly planning to invest $10 billion in OpenAI, the company behind the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT.
A report from Semafor suggests the investment is part of a funding round with other investors that would value the AI company at $29 billion.
The deal would see Microsoft take a 75% share of OpenAI’s profits until it makes back its investment, at which point the tech giant would take a 49% stake in the company.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT has enthralled the tech world with its natural language processing model, which means it can generate text that can read like a human wrote it. The AI model has been used for many purposes already, including writing college essays and developing code.
Late last year Morgan Stanley published a note asking whether ChatGPT’s natural language processing was a threat to Google in the search market. Microsoft’s Bing browser has failed to take a significant share of the search market, which is dominated by Google. A report by the Information last week suggested Microsoft, which invested $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019, was working on a version of its search engine using the AI behind ChatGPT.
OpenAI was founded in 2015 by Sam Altman, and launched ChatGPT in late November. A version of the technology was released to the public for free, and quickly went viral. But the company is now burning through cash as it struggles to cope with the pressure on its servers. Just five days after the release of ChatGPT, the tool crossed the 1 million user mark, according to Altman.
Tech giants like Facebook and Google have insisted digital assistants and AI-enabled chatbots are the next stage of human and computer interaction since 2016, but progress has been slow and users have been left unimpressed by the services launched. But ChatGPT has begun to realize that potential, as it’s able to carry on a conversation and also generate software code.