Microsoft, Elon Musk’s AI group strike partnership, cloud deal

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 3:58am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 3:58am

Microsoft struck a partnership with Elon Musk’s artificial intelligence research group, OpenAI, and said the organisation will use the company’s Azure cloud system for most of its large-scale experiments.

OpenAI has been an early customer for Microsoft’s Azure N-Series Virtual Machines, a powerful cloud-computing service that relies on Nvidia Corp. graphical processing units. The two will also collaborate on ways to advance AI research and its use, Microsoft and Open AI said Tuesday in blog posts.

“In the coming months we will use thousands to tens of thousands of these machines to increase both the number of experiments we run and the size of the models we train,” OpenAI said in its post.

Microsoft is investing in artificial intelligence research and product development in a variety of areas including medicine and bots, programmes that chat with users to automate tasks.

Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella has discussed the need for ethical rules as AI develops as well as creating ways to spread its benefits.

Musk, who heads Tesla Motors Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies, teamed up with Y Combinator President Sam Altman and others, to form the non-profit OpenAI in December, seeking to ensure AI is developed safety and its benefits are widely distributed.

Microsoft also said it’s introducing the Azure Bot Service, a cloud service that lets companies and developers store and run bots in the Azure cloud.