Microsoft obtains exclusive license to OpenAI's GPT-3 language model

Alongside its Ignite 2020 unveilings today, Microsoft announced a new partnership with OpenAI under which the Redmond giant has obtained an exclusive license to OpenAI's GPT-3 language model. This will allow the firm to employ the GPT-3's natural language generation and processing abilities in its AI solutions for customers.

The scope of commercial and creative potential that can be unlocked through the GPT-3 model is profound, with genuinely novel capabilities – most of which we haven’t even imagined yet. Directly aiding human creativity and ingenuity in areas like writing and composition, describing and summarizing large blocks of long-form data (including code), converting natural language to another language – the possibilities are limited only by the ideas and scenarios that we bring to the table.

Packing 175 billion parameters, the largest transformer model today, GPT-3, has been making headlines ever since OpenAI first unveiled its API to the public back in June. While we still have a fair way to go before we achieve general artificial intelligence, GPT-3 is the closest we've come to the goal, with the model authoring stories, writing CSS, JSX, Python code, and even convincing news articles.

To achieve this, GPT-3 was trained on practically the entire internet. So, unlike its predecessor GPT-2, GPT-3 does not require fine-tuning for distinct language tasks. To train this model, OpenAI used multiple Nvidia's V100 GPUs that were a part of a high-bandwidth cluster provided by Microsoft that delivered 3.14E23 FLOPS of computing. Since this much computing power is unlikely to be given via virtual machines to the public via traditional subscription models, OpenAI handles the compute requirements for GPT-3 by using Microsoft Azure to host the model's API.

The exclusive license is another milestone in the multi-year partnership that Microsoft and OpenAI formed last year. And moving forward, the two will continue to work towards their mission to build safe artificial general intelligence, furthering research and utilizing the capabilities of GPT-3 in products, services, and experiences to benefit customers.

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