Recently, Microsoft has teamed up with Elon Musk founded Artificial Intelligence company OpenAI. They made the story official on their website as the company invested $1 Billion in this project. This is not the first time a large firm has shown interest in Artificial Intelligence.
Last year, a Japanese multinational firm SoftBank invested heavily in Chinese AI company SenseTime. But that story didn’t create the same ripples that this one has. The reason being, Microsoft and OpenAI are both tech giants and they together might create something that might be harmful to humanity.
To me, it feels like a Skynet kind is a situation. If you have ever seen one of the Terminator series, you would unquestionably know what a Skynet is. It is an artificial neural network-based intelligence system funded by the Russian government to see how fast machines can kill human beings.
In the movie, this system sees humans as a threat to the planet earth(due to environmental pollution and deforestation). And if activated can kill most of the population and keep the remaining survivors as slaves(to work in their factories, i.e., to create more AI machines). I hope Microsoft and OpenAI don’t tale this project that far.
What is this project about? Why is Microsoft interested in working with OpenAI?
Microsoft and OpenAI have planned to work together on building new AI-based systems to enhance it’s already existing product Microsoft Azure. Azure is a cloud computing service that lets businesses and the general public use the data centers managed by Microsoft themselves. This space is currently used by Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) companies as their data servers.
The ultimate purpose of this collaboration is to able to build Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), technology as the headline of this post suggests “will replicate a human brain“. More on AGI, there are two types of AI technologies: Strong AI and Weak AI.
Strong AI systems are capable of learning the tasks executed by humans and replicating them with precision. While Weak AI is used by organizations wanting their systems to perform basic problem solving or reasoning tasks. AGI comes under the Strong AI category.
Furthermore, Microsoft has also committed to being “OpenAI’s preferred partner for commercializing new AI technologies”. OpenAI will port its services to run on Microsoft Azure. This is where they will run tests and perform an experiment related to artificial general intelligence. The CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman said to the media “The creation of AGI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity”.
Sam also promised that this collaboration with Microsoft will ensure a better future for humans and it won’t work against humanity. He also expressed excitement as Microsoft shared a lot of values and goals with OpenAI. This can only mean good things for OpenAI.