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Microsoft sprinkles OpenAI everywhere to retain software partners

Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella speaks to attendees at Microsoft’s Build conference on May 23, 2023 in Seattle.

Dan DeLong | Microsoft

If there’s one company that popularized artificial intelligence over the past year, it’s small but richly funded startup OpenAI, the entity behind viral chatbot ChatGPT.

This week at the Build conference for software developers, Microsoft Makes extensive use of its association with startups in which it has invested billions.

Front and center on the show’s first day Tuesday was a conversation between Greg Brockman, co-founder and president of OpenAI, and Kevin Scott, Microsoft’s chief of technology and the man credited with forging an unusually close relationship between the two companies. .

“You heard it from Greg,” Scott told the crowd gathered at the Seattle Convention Center in Washington at the end of the talk. “You’re all going to make AI great.”

Toward that end, Microsoft announced several products for developers working on OpenAI’s technology:

  • There are new Azure cloud tools for customized text summarization.
  • The upcoming chatbot promises to help developers work with data and prepare it for analysis.
  • Developers will be able to build plugins that work inside ChatGPT and chatbots inside Microsoft’s own products, including those that will debut in Windows next month.
  • Developers receiving coding tips through the GitHub Copilot feature will have access to a chatbot inside the Windows Terminal command-line program.

Nadella says generative AI will change software forever

OpenAI released ChatGPT to the wider world in November, garnering a lot of interest from consumers. Soon after, companies such as Atlassian, Morgan Stanley And sales force OpenAI’s GPT-4 rushed to show the integration of the larger language model, which powers the chatbot. GPT-4 and the like Amazon And Google Trained on extensive internet data sets and has become capable of spitting out natural-sounding text fragments.

This is a popular form of what has come to be called generative AI, which can take human input and respond with computer generated output.

“Every layer of the software stack is going to change forever and there’s no better place to start than the actual developer stack,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during his Build keynote on Tuesday. “How we build, as developers, is fundamentally changing.”

It is important for third-party developers to continue to enrich Microsoft’s own software properties, such as the Microsoft 365 productivity software bundle. Such work could help Microsoft’s Teams communications app, for example, become a more clear hub for an increasingly wide selection of processes and tasks that companies need to accomplish. This may make companies less likely to switch to alternatives such as Google Workspace.

Microsoft highlighted dozens of plugin developers on Tuesday, including adobe, Posturecanva, cloud flare, redfin, Spotify and TripAdvisor. A demonstration showed the Windows chatbot turning on a Spotify playlist, creating a company logo with Adobe Express, and sending the logo to a person’s colleagues on Teams in response to a series of typed messages.

Greg Brockman, president and co-founder of OpenAI, and Kevin Scott, chief technology officer of Microsoft, speak on stage at Microsoft’s Build conference on May 23, 2023 in Seattle.

Dan DeLong | Microsoft

At the same time, Nadella pushed Microsoft to incorporate GPT-4 directly into Teams and older Microsoft products, such as the Bing search engine, often resulting in bots branded with the name Copilot. The term Copilot emphasizes cooperation with people, in contrast to (for example) Autopilot for advanced-driver assistance systems. Tesla Vehicle.

“We’re adding Copilot to everything,” Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and AI group, told CNBC in an interview last week. “It’s less of a top-down mandate, although we’re definitely pushing top-down. I think it’s something where we’ve really campaigned internally and really told every team about it.” And we’re building a common stack at Microsoft that the whole company is building on top of.”

Analysts responded favorably to the developer’s onslaught.

“The pace of MSFT’s GenAI innovation continues to surprise us,” analysts at Mizuho wrote in a Wednesday note to clients with a buy rating on Microsoft stock.

Brockman indicated to developers that GPT-4 running in Azure could cost less.

“I think we reduced prices by 70% two years ago,” he told Scott. “Basically, this past year, we cut costs by 90%. A 10-fold reduction in costs — like, that’s crazy, right? And I think we’re going to end up doing the same thing over and over again with the new model.” Will be able to. And so GPT-4 right now, it’s expensive, it’s not fully available. But it’s one of the things that I think will change.”

Watch: Microsoft Build 2023 unveils plugins and products that incorporate AI

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