This Tuesday, Microsoft announced it is partnering with OpenAI, the non-profit artificial intelligence (AI) research company founded and funded by Elon Musk and other industry luminaries. OpenAI seeks to develop AI to benefit all of humanity — a goal Microsoft isn’t foreign to, with its open-source deep learning software.
“It’s great to work with another organization that believes in the importance of democratizing access to AI,” reads OpenAI’s official blog announcement about the partnership. For their part, Microsoft sees a valuable partner in OpenAI. As one spokesperson said in an interview for TechCrunch: “Through this partnership, Microsoft and OpenAI will advance their mutual goal to democratize AI, so everyone can benefit.”
OpenAI will make Microsoft Azure its preferred cloud platform. “Azure has impressed us by building hardware configurations optimized for deep learning — they offer K80 GPUs with InfiniBand interconnects at scale,” says OpenAI. Azure is optimized for AI workloads, using its Azure Batch and Azure Machine Learning, coupled with Microsoft’s rebranded Cognitive Toolkit.
“Microsoft Research researchers will partner with researchers at OpenAI to advance the state of AI and OpenAI will use Microsoft Azure and Microsoft‘s N-series hardware for their future research and development,” a Microsoft spokesperson explained.
True to OpenAI’s democratic approach to AI research, they’ll make the results of their combined efforts publicly available.