Update, Jan. 10: Semafor reported late Monday that Microsoft is in talks to invest $10 billion into Chat GPT, with the goal of further developing the technology on Microsoft Cloud and incorporating features into Word and Outlook.
The funding, which would include other venture capital firms, would value ChatGPT’s owner, OpenAI, at $29 billion.
Here’s more from Semafor’s report:
Microsoft’s infusion would be part of a complicated deal in which the company would get 75% of OpenAI’s profits until it recoups its investment, the people said. (It’s not clear whether money that OpenAI spends on Microsoft’s cloud-computing arm would count toward evening its account.)
After that threshold is reached, it would revert to a structure that reflects ownership of OpenAI, with Microsoft having a 49% stake, other investors taking another 49% and OpenAI’s nonprofit parent getting 2%. There’s also a profit cap that varies for each set of investors — unusual for venture deals, which investors hope might return 20 or 30 times their money. The terms and the investment amount could change, and the deal could fall apart.
Original story: Microsoft is reportedly looking at multiple ways to leverage ChatGPT and improve its existing apps and services, including adding the conversational AI model to the Bing search engine and adding ChatGPT capabilities to Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and other apps.
The news comes from technology publication The Information, which revealed the inner workings of Microsoft’s move to bring ChatGPT’s technology into its company and better compete with Google’s AI offerings.
The goal is to incorporate ChatGPT in Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and other apps, allowing users to automatically generate text using simple prompts, the publication reported, citing someone with direct knowledge of the effort.
However, that won’t be easy, as the company has already begun working to create personalized AI tools for composing emails and documents by applying OpenAI’s machine learning models to customers’ private data, per the report.
“Microsoft has worked on incorporating OpenAI’s language-understanding model, GPT, to provide more useful search results when Outlook email customers look for information in their inboxes,” The Information claims. “For instance, GPT has the ability to figure out what emails the customer might be searching for even if they don’t type the exact keywords that are in the relevant emails, two people with direct knowledge of the plan said.”
The report also suggests that the technology could be used to suggest automatic replies, recommend changes to documents to make them more readable and write “entire tracts of text in response to a prompt,” the publication reports.
The Information’s second report on Microsoft’s vision for ChatGPT in other apps comes after a similar report about bringing ChatGPT features to Bring Search. The publication reported that Microsoft is preparing to launch a version of Bing that uses the AI technology behind ChatGPT to answer search queries rather than just giving users a list of links.
A New York Times report last month suggested that Google feels threatened by Open AI and ChatGPT, and the company is ramping up its AI chatbot teams in response.
Since these reports are both on behind-the-scenes talks, it’s unclear when or if Microsoft will reveal the product of these conversations.
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