This leak explains why Microsoft invested billions in ChatGPT

Google scared it, so Microsoft saw OpenAI as its savior. Finally, all these billions, poured into the Californian start-up, can be explained.

Not all participants are at the same level in the race for artificial intelligence. If, in 2019, Microsoft invested a billion dollars in OpenAI, it’s because of Google. The progress of the number one in online research in AI had impressed the IT giant too much, according to these internal emails.

The correspondence in question is entitled Thoughts on OpenAI. It involves senior managers at Microsoft:

  • Its chief executive officer (CEO), Satya Nadella
  • Its technical director (DT), Kevin Scott
  • Its administrative and financial director (DAF), Amy Hood
  • Its co-founder, Bill Gates

Let us specify that the disclosure of these internal emails — by Business InsiderTuesday — comes as took place as part of the antitrust lawsuit against Google. This procedure follows a three-year education of the United States Department of Justice.

Years late », Scott worried

Microsoft’s choice to rely on OpenAI to advance its AI strategy would therefore result from panic. It all started with Kevin Scott’s concerns.

When Google’s AI projects were limited to creating virtual entities capable of facing human opponents in games, the DT was far from impressed. It was the time ofAlphaGoprogram designed for the game of go.

There was then a turning point, the leader in online search focused on major language models (LLM). “ I worried a lot », confides Scott in an email.

He obviously assessed the capacity gaps between his company and Google to train LLMs. “ We are several years behind the competition in terms of machine learning », notes Scott in another email of June 12, 2019.

The CEO puts pressure on his financial director

In October 2018Google had BERT as the most advanced language model. It took Microsoft engineers six months to achieve a result of this caliber.

Kevin Scott lamented that their “ infrastructure was not up to the task “. In the correspondence, he also praised the efforts of the Menlo Park-based firm.

After reading, Nadella undoubtedly transmitted the Thoughts on OpenAI to his DAF. His email includes the words “ this is why i want to do this “.

Note that Hood is a key member of the hierarchy. He is responsible for overseeing the company’s financial objectives, with rigorous control of the firm’s expenses.

The CEO’s reaction suggests that the DAF must not have been keen on the idea of ​​investing heavily in artificial intelligence. Convinced by her DT’s findings, Hood then changed her position and took out the check for Microsoft to bet on OpenAI.

The shadow man of the Microsoft and OpenAI partnership

OpenAI has established itself today as the number one in artificial intelligence. The Californian start-up owes this success to the performance and popularity of ChatGPT. The capabilities of this generative chatbot are based on the start-up’s powerful LLMs.

The money injected into OpenAI amounts to more than 13 billion dollars. His GPT models integrate several Microsoft services and products (Office, Bing, Edge and Windows).

The number one software company has caught up with Google thanks to its strategy. He can also thank his co-founder.

Remember that Bill Gates has no longer been at the head of the company since 2020. On the other hand, he would still have played a big role in the relationship with OpenAI.

The billionaire philanthropist reportedly discussing with the start-up since 2016. He also reportedly helped seal the deal between the two companies.

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