Microsoft is launching its Azure OpenAI service this week, allowing businesses to integrate tools like DALL-E into their own cloud applications. Microsoft has been testing this Azure service for just over a year, and it will soon include access to ChatGPT, the conversational AI that made headlines last year.
The Azure OpenAI service includes a number of AI models created by OpenAI, including GPT-3.5, Codex, and DALL-E, so businesses and developers can use these systems in their own applications and workloads. Microsoft essentially bundles GPT-3.5 with the scaling you’d expect from Azure and add-ons for data management and processing. Developers could use Azure OpenAI to build apps that use AI for support tickets or content matching to improve search results in online stores. Such models are already widely used as document summarization and text analysis tools.
Microsoft uses its own Azure OpenAI service to power GitHub Copilot, the $10-a-month service that helps offer lines of code to developers in their code editor. Power BI also uses GPT-3 natural language models to generate formulas and expressions, and the upcoming Microsoft Designer app uses DALL-E 2 to generate art from text prompts.
The launch of Azure OpenAI comes just days after rumors that Microsoft wants to integrate ChatGPT and other OpenAI language AI models even further into its products and services. Microsoft is rumored to be preparing to challenge Google by integrating ChatGPT into Bing search results, and the company is reportedly considering integrating some language AI technology into its Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook apps.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was optimistic about the integration of OpenAI. “Every Microsoft product will have some of the same AI capabilities to completely transform the product,” said Nadella, in Wall Street Journal panel. Tools like ChatGPT, Nadella argues, are necessary to increase productivity. “We need something that really shifts the productivity curve so we can have real economic growth,” Nadella said.