ChatGPT Coming Soon To Azure OpenAI Services
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 18 January 2023

Microsoft's Azure OpenAI Service, which has been restricted to a few select customers since its launch in November 2021, is now generally available. The line up of advanced AI models the service offers includes GPT-3.5, Codex, and DALL•E 2 and soon customers will also be able to access ChatGPT.

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By giving enterprise customers access to start of the art AI tools, Azure Open AI Services is a big step towards "democratizing AI" which has been a key issue for both OpenAI and for Microsoft and it is certainly likely to be a further boost for Azure.

Microsoft appears to be going all out on Artificial Intelligence and, according to rumours currently circulating, is looking to invest $10 billion into OpenAI, the company responsible for the remarkable breakthroughs in natural language understanding and generation, giving it a 49% share. The deal will also give Microsoft 75% of OpenAI's profits until it has recouped its investment.

Microsoft initially formed its partnership with OpenAI in 2016 when Azure was adopted as OpenAI's primary cloud platform. Then in 2019 Microsoft made a major $1 billion investment in OpenAI "to accelerate breakthroughs in AI". The following year Microsoft announced that its AI supercomputers, were to be built in collaboration with and exclusively for OpenAI and Microsoft was granted an exclusive license for GPT-3, giving it privileged access to OpenAI's code.

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As the timeline shows the relationship seems to have had the desired effect of increasing the rate at which practical applications of AI have been launched by Microsoft with GPT-3 behind PowerApps launched in May 2021 and Copilot, its AI pair-programming tool launched the following month, based on OpenAI Codex.

It's not a one-way street as acknowledged in a recent Tweet from OpenAI's CEO, Sam Altman, thanking Microsoft and Azure for the work it puts in to OpenAI's products.

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Azure OpenAI Service, part of Azure Cognitive Service was introduced in private preview in November 2021 to a small number of invited companies. Commenting on the preview phase in the announcement of its general availability Eric Boyd, the head of Microsoft's AI Platform, revealed:

Customers of all sizes across industries are using Azure OpenAI Service to do more with less, improve experiences for end-users, and streamline operational efficiencies internally. From startups like Moveworks to multinational corporations like KPMG, organizations small and large are applying the capabilities of Azure OpenAI Service to advanced use cases such as customer support, customization, and gaining insights from data using search, data extraction, and classification.

The endorsement I find most interesting came from Al Jazeera's Vice President of Engineering, Jason Mc Cartney:

“Al Jazeera Digital is constantly exploring new ways to use technology to support our journalism and better serve our audience. Azure OpenAI Service has the potential to enhance our content production in several ways, including summarization and translation, selection of topics, AI tagging, content extraction, and style guide rule application. We are excited to see this service go to general availability so it can help us further contextualize our reporting by conveying the opinion and the other opinion.”

So it seems that it isn't just the developers on the I Programmer team whose jobs might be replaced by AI. But taking a more positive attitude and contemplating how AI could help, with the availability of ChatGPT in Azure OpenAI service my job could be the first to be enhanced and that seems like good news.

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More Information

Azure OpenAI Service

General availability of Azure OpenAI Service 

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Last Updated ( Friday, 03 February 2023 )