As part of its efforts to "democratize artificial intelligence" (AI) and make it accessible to all, Microsoft has announced a new partnership with OpenAI, an AI research non-profit backed by a number of notable figures in tech like Elon Musk and Reid Hoffman. Together, the two companies aim to both advance the field of AI and also use AI to take on "some of the world's most challenging problems."
In addition, the partnership will see OpenAI using Microsoft's Azure as its primary cloud platform. From Microsoft:
We're also excited that OpenAI chose Microsoft Azure as their primary cloud platform, to help advance their research and create new tools and technologies that are only possible with the cloud. OpenAI chose Microsoft due to our deep learning research and ongoing commitment to AI, along with Azure's support for open source technologies and its unique combination of high performance computing, big data and intelligence capabilities such as Azure Batch, Azure Machine Learning and the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (formerly CNTK).
Aside from its partnership with OpenAI, Microsoft also announced the launch of its Azure Bot Service — a "first of its kind in the industry," Microsoft says. With the Azure Bot Service, developers can easily and build, deploy and develop their bots all on Azure. The service takes advantage of the Microsoft Bot Framework, and Azure Functions ensures that developers only pay for the resources their bots actually use.