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In a blog post this evening, Microsoft announced the general availability of Azure OpenAI Service, which allows businesses to power their apps with large-scale AI models, including GPT-3.5, DALL-E 2, and Codex.

According to a press statement, availability is “restricted to customers who meet and adhere to the standards for responsible and ethical AI principles that Microsoft has set and published (linked here). Customers are required to apply for access describing their intended use-case or application before they are given access to the service.”

ChatGPT is coming soon

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella tweeted the announcement, adding that “ChatGPT is coming soon to the Azure OpenAI Service, which is now generally available, as we help customers apply the world’s most advanced AI models to their own business imperatives.”

OpenAI tweeted the news, adding that “We’ve learned a lot from the ChatGPT research preview and have been making important updates based on user feedback. ChatGPT will be coming to our API and Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service soon.”

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There was, however, no further comment from either Microsoft or OpenAI about the other big news — that Microsoft is eyeing a $10 billion investment in OpenAI, which it invested $1 billion in back in 2019.

Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service debuted in November 2021

Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service debuted on an invite-only basis in November 2021. According to a press statement, companies have used the service to apply advanced use cases such as customer support, customization and gaining insights from data using search, data extraction and classification.   

In addition, Microsoft uses the Azure OpenAI Service to power its own products, including GitHub Copilot, which helps developers write better code, Power BI, which leverages GPT-3-powered natural language to automatically generate formulae and expressions, and the recently-announced Microsoft Designer, which builds content with natural language prompts.

Azure is also the core computing power behind OpenAI API’s family of models. In December 2022, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman tweeted: “Microsoft, and particularly Azure, don’t get nearly enough credit for the stuff OpenAI launches. they do an amazing amount of work to make it happen; we are deeply grateful for the partnership. They have built by far the best AI infra out there.”

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