Microsoft invests $1 billion in artificial intelligence project co-founded by Elon Musk

Key Points
  • Microsoft and OpenAI announced a new partnership to build artificial general intelligence to tackle more complex tasks than AI.
  • Microsoft will invest $1 billion in OpenAI as part of the project, the companies said.
  • While today's AI can tackle simple tasks, the companies said AGI will be able to take on more "multidisciplinary problems."
Microsoft announces $1 billion investment in Elon Musk-backed AI company
Microsoft announces $1 billion investment in Elon Musk-backed AI company

Microsoft is investing $1 billion in Elon Musk's OpenAI to build artificial intelligence that can tackle more complex tasks, the companies announced Monday.

Through the partnership, the companies will build new Azure AI supercomputing technologies and Microsoft will become OpenAI's exclusive cloud provider, according to the announcements. The companies said the technology they plan to build, artificial general intelligence (AGI), will be able to solve more complex problems that AI currently is capable of.

"Modern AI systems work well for the specific problem on which they've been trained, but getting AI systems to help address some of the hardest problems facing the world today will require generalization and deep mastery of multiple AI technologies," the companies wrote in a press release. "OpenAI and Microsoft's vision is for artificial general intelligence to work with people to help solve currently intractable multidisciplinary problems, including global challenges such as climate change, more personalized healthcare and education."

Rather than build its own product to make up the costs of building AI technologies, OpenAI said in its announcement that it decided to license some of its "pre-AGI technologies" and make Microsoft its preferred commercialization partner.

Microsoft and OpenAI chose to work together based on "shared principles on ethics and trust," according to the release.

"We believe that the creation of beneficial AGI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity," OpenAI wrote.

OpenAI was co-founded by Musk, Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever and Sam Altman, the company's CEO.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

WATCH: VR training by Microsoft and Pixo VR saving millions and saving lives

VR training by companies like Microsoft is saving lives, money and ensuring the future of VR and AR
How VR training by companies like Microsoft is saving lives and making money