- Microsoft has expanded its AI ambitions with a new collaboration with Databricks to sell AI app-development software.
- The Databricks software will allow businesses to build their own AI models from scratch, potentially hurting the prospects of Microsoft-backed OpenAI.
Microsoft has reportedly planned to offer the new version of Databricks’ artificial intelligence development software through its Azure cloud platform. The tech giant aims to offer users data analytics and machine learning tools as part of its cloud services portfolio.
The move comes as Microsoft pushes to meet the rising demand for custom AI tools for highly-specific business requirements. Databricks’ offering is a platform for data analytics that allows clients to either build their own AI models from scratch or even repurpose existing open-source AI models.
Microsoft and Databricks first announced their partnership in 2018. With Microsoft being the 2nd largest cloud-service provider in the world, the sales of Databricks products through Azure are expected to increase accessibility. Microsoft has also integrated AI features into several of its products, such as GitHub and Microsoft 365.
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On the other hand, this partnership is expected to hurt the prospects of OpenAI, another Microsoft-backed company. Early in 2023, Microsoft announced its intention to invest $10 billion in the company. Microsoft also allocated a supercomputer to OpenAI to train and develop LLMs. OpenAI recently released GPTBot to train AI models like GPT-4.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT was hoped to eventually be integrated into Microsoft’s offerings to topple Google from its top spot. However, OpenAI has struggled to maintain its popularity, with over $500 million in losses. Moreover, Databricks is a direct competitor to OpenAI. It has even developed and released its own LLM in March. So it will be interesting to see how this potential conflict of interest pans out for Microsoft.
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