It was recently announced that Microsoft has invested $1 Billion, then $3 Billion and now $10 Billion more into OpenAI.org. OpenAI is suddenly now famous and infamous for creating Dall-E, the image generation software and ChatGPT the search and writing bot. This week OpenAI started charging $20 a month for reliable access to the service. What does this all mean for your business?
Where did OpenAI come from?
Let’s back up for a minute and try to understand this company, OpenAI.org, that is creating artificial intelligence on a scale not seen before. In 2015, Elon Musk and Sam Altman started OpenAI as a non-profit that would save the world from evil AI. The goal was to create the best AI and use it for good. That was its mission. There was no plan to ever make money. In 2019, Musk left the project on “good terms” citing the need to focus on problems at Tesla and competition over the same tech talent, according to his twitter account. Since then, Sam runs the company. He has a long history of success with start-ups in the tech industry.
As you can imagine, it takes a lot of computing power to suck in all knowledge (well not all but that is the goal) and develop an “AI brain” that can process it, then teach it to write and draw. This is when Microsoft stepped in with money, more money and a lot more money as noted above. Taking a look in Crunchbase for information about who has invested in OpenAI, it’s Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft, Bedrock, Sequoia and a couple of others investment firms. It’s clear that this is now a Microsoft led project.
Shortly after the release of OpenAI’s first products, Dall-E and ChatGPT, Google panicked and even brought back the founders to decide what to do. Why? Because search engines like Google, don’t ingest information. They index webpages and a whole industry of SEO (search engine optimization) works to try to get their clients websites toward the top of the page. The difference between taking in every word and deciding what category a website fits into is a completely different way of looking at the Internet. If you could ask a question and get a reasonable answer, instead of a list of websites to visit, would you? It turns out that enough people would for the CEO of Google to call a Code Red.
Next up for OpenAI
The first version of ChatGPT was called 2.0 and now you can pay for 2.5 but they’ve also announced 4.0, which is said to be trained on 500 times more data than the currently available versions. Remember that what you are seeing today and what everyone is so excited about is really just a testing ground.
It’s not the final product or anywhere even close to it. It’s simply a test. And if this test has generated this much attention, imagine what could be coming next. Now we understand why Google is concerned.
What is Microsoft doing?
Meanwhile, we’re being treated to some new apps and features from Microsoft that are a direct result of their ties with OpenAI. Microsoft has a new product called Designer that has gotten praise from Fast Company and design magazines. It’s heralded as the first graphics designer with no interface! You simply ask it to draw something in natural language and it does. I recently used it to design a graphic for our next networking event, using the phrase,
“a lighthouse on a table at happy hour in shades of blue oil painting with business people” then nearly instantly, the graphic was produced for me. This magical power is produced by the brain at OpenAI called Dalle-E via the application by Microsoft called Designer. By-the-way, I hope that you will join us at this event!
Microsoft also announced the integration of the OpenAI brain into Microsoft Teams. It adds intelligent recap to your meetings, creates tasks, notes, member contribution to the meetings, decisions made, transcripts and more. Which means, if someone says, let’s get Mikey to do it, then Mikey will know and get assigned a task – automatically. The goal here is to make meetings more productive by making sure that the tasks get done and decisions acted upon.
Microsoft announced the integration of OpenAI into its AzureAI cognitive services, which means that developers can access OpenAI’s power along with the other intelligences in Azure’s set to create their own apps.
OpenAI is also coming to Microsoft Word, Outlook and PowerPoint – probably. It would be hard to imagine at this point that it won’t.
The future of OpenAI is in applications.
All of this means that OpenAI is here to stay, and that Microsoft’s investment is already paying off, while the rest of the tech world scrambles to understand where its products are going to fit into this future and how they missed the opportunity to get in on it early. It also means that your small business, with its subscription to #Microsoft365, is going to be able to take advantage of OpenAI, simply by adopting new apps, like #MicrosoftDesigner and learning the new features of your favorite productivity tools in #MicrosoftOffice like #MicrosoftWord, #Outlook and #Powerpoint.
This is a lot to digest for your employees though. Training then will be critical to your future success with these new features. They are very powerful. My team at Harbor Computer Services, can help yours learn to take full advantage of them while staying safe. Knowledge is power and the power is about to be placed into untrained hands. Those untrained hands could easily foil the mission of OpenAI to protect the world from evil. Let’s work together to make sure that doesn’t happen.
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