Microsoft’s $13B Bet on AI to Compete with Google

Discover how Microsoft’s strategic partnership with OpenAI and massive investment aim to rival Google’s AI advancements.

On May 1, 2024, recent news reported a significant development involving Microsoft’s strategy in the AI sector.

An internal email leak revealed that Microsoft is keenly focused on catching up with Google in artificial intelligence.

The email, sent by Microsoft’s CTO Kevin Scott to CEO Satya Nadella and co-founder Bill Gates in 2019, expressed deep concerns about Microsoft lagging behind Google in AI capabilities.

Scott acknowledged that Microsoft was several years behind its competitors in the machine learning scale and had underestimated the investments competitors were making in AI.

The email highlighted difficulties Microsoft faced in replicating Google’s BERT, a large language model. While Microsoft had the blueprint for the model, a lack of sufficient infrastructure prolonged the training period to nearly six months.

In contrast, Google had already developed and deployed BERT six months earlier, enhancing its search and Gmail’s autocomplete feature significantly.

Prompted by the urgency to catch up, Microsoft established a partnership with OpenAI in 2019, investing $1 billion initially.

This collaboration deepened over the years, with Microsoft’s total investment in OpenAI exceeding $13 billion, illustrating Microsoft’s aggressive approach to advancing AI to compete with Google and solidify its standing in the tech industry.

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Microsoft’s $13B Bet on AI to Compete with Google

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