One of the most gratifying parts of my job at Microsoft is being able to witness and influence the intersection of technological progress and impact: harnessing the big trends in computing that have the opportunity to benefit everybody on the planet. Frank’s post this morning from Ignite shows just how much progress is happening in many of these areas.
Today, the foremost computing trend is undoubtedly artificial intelligence (AI). As we increasingly develop the ability to deploy huge AI models at scale in a way that can be leveraged by all developers and businesses, AI is becoming a platform – an environment upon which folks can build amazing new experiences, just like we’ve seen happen before with personal computers, mobile devices or the internet.
Getting this AI platform off the ground requires unprecedented computing horsepower. So, this May, we expanded upon our ongoing partnership with the world-leading AI research organization OpenAI to announce one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers – a custom-designed, Azure-hosted home for training OpenAI’s equally massive AI models.
Since then, you’ve probably already seen OpenAI’s announcement of their groundbreaking GPT-3 model – an autoregressive language model that outputs remarkably human-like text. GPT-3 is the largest and most advanced language model in the world, clocking in at 175 billion parameters, and is trained on Azure’s AI supercomputer.
Today, I’m very excited to announce that Microsoft is teaming up with OpenAI to exclusively license GPT-3, allowing us to leverage its technical innovations to develop and deliver advanced AI solutions for our customers, as well as create new solutions that harness the amazing power of advanced natural language generation.
We see this as an incredible opportunity to expand our Azure-powered AI platform in a way that democratizes AI technology, enables new products, services and experiences, and increases the positive impact of AI at Scale. Our mission at Microsoft is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, so we want to make sure that this AI platform is available to everyone – researchers, entrepreneurs, hobbyists, businesses – to empower their ambitions to create something new and interesting.
The scope of commercial and creative potential that can be unlocked through the GPT-3 model is profound, with genuinely novel capabilities – most of which we haven’t even imagined yet. Directly aiding human creativity and ingenuity in areas like writing and composition, describing and summarizing large blocks of long-form data (including code), converting natural language to another language – the possibilities are limited only by the ideas and scenarios that we bring to the table.
Realizing these benefits at true scale – responsibly, affordably and equitably – is going to require more human input and effort than any one large technology company can bring to bear.
On that journey, today is only the beginning of the beginning. OpenAI will continue to offer GPT-3 and other powerful models via its own Azure-hosted API, launched in June. While we’ll be hard at work utilizing the capabilities of GPT-3 in our own products, services and experiences to benefit our customers, we’ll also continue to work with OpenAI to keep looking forward: leveraging and democratizing the power of their cutting-edge AI research as they continue on their mission to build safe artificial general intelligence. That future will be what we make of it – and I believe that we’re on the right track.