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Microsoft working on new AI model to rival Google and OpenAI

Written by Thu 9 May 2024

Image Credit: Reuters

A new large AI language model is being developed by Microsoft to compete with cutting-edge technology from OpenAI and Google.

In a report published by The Information, a model informally named MAI-1, which is much larger than previous models is under the direction of Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of Google DeepMind and former CEO of AI startup Inflection.

While Microsoft has not made a formal comment on the reporting, Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott posted on LinkedIn to discuss the work the tech firm does with AI models.

“Our partner OpenAI uses these supercomputers to train frontier-defining models, and then we both make these models available in products and services so that lots of people can benefit from them. We rather like this arrangement,” said Scott.

It is not yet clear exactly what the model will be used for or when it will be fully deployed. Despite Microsoft reportedly working on its own large AI model, the technology firm has invested around £10 billion ($13 billion) in AI firm OpenAI.

In recent months Microsoft has launched a relatively small AI model called Phi-3 mini, with the MAI-1 model expected to be much larger and more expensive. According to reports, MAI-1 will have around 500 billion parameters, compared to close to OpenAI’s GPT-4 one trillion parameters. Phi-3 mini has 3.8 billion parameters.

“Each supercomputer we build for Open AI is a lot bigger than the one that preceded it, and each frontier model they train is a lot more powerful than its predecessors,” said Scott.

“We will continue to be on this path, building an increasingly powerful supercomputer for Open AI to train the models that will set the pace for the whole field, well into the future. There is no end in sight to the increasing impact that our work together will have.”

Last Month, Microsoft said it plans to more than double its existing data centre capacity this year to meet a sharp spike in expected demand driven by cross-industry artificial intelligence (AI) adoption. According to a leaked presentation from Microsoft, the company is preparing to double new-build capacity in the second half of 2024 and aims for threefold growth in the first half of 2025.

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Written by Thu 9 May 2024

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