Microsoft Loves OpenAI, but OpenAI is Crushing on Apple 

A new love triangle is brewing in Silicon Valley. Just a day before Microsoft Build, the tech giant openly stripped Apple’s MacBook Air and showed off its latest Copilot+PCs.

But little did the world know about OpenAI’s soft corner for Apple. This affinity was clearly displayed at the OpenAI Spring Update, where MacBooks and iPhones were prominently used, while Microsoft Windows products were notably absent.

Microsoft loves OpenAI only for its GPTs

Microsoft’s relationship with OpenAI is one of the most intriguing dynamics in the tech industry. In his keynote at Microsoft Build 2024, chief Satya Nadella said that OpenAI is Microsoft’s “most strategic and most important partner”.

“As OpenAI innovates, our promise is that we will bring all that innovation to Azure too. In fact, the same day that OpenAI announced GPT-4o, we made the model available for testing on Azure OpenAI Service,” said Nadella.

“Just last week, OpenAI announced GPT-4o, their latest multimodal model trained on Azure. It’s an absolute breakthrough. It supports text, audio, image, and video as both input and output,” said Nadella, adding that the model can respond and hold human-like conversations that are fast and fluid.

After the keynote, Microsoft invited OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on the stage for a chat with Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott. Altman said that with GPT-4o, they have halved the cost and doubled the speed, assuring that their AI models will keep getting smarter. “If you think about what happened from GPT-3 to 3.5 to 4, it just got smarter,” he said.

I'm watching Sam Altman and Kevin Scott at Microsoft Build and it's very clear that a GPT-5 level model is in the works, and it's going to be a huge leap forward.

— Dan Shipper 📧 (@danshipper) May 21, 2024

Moreover, Altman added that as the models get more powerful, there will be many new things to figure out as the company moves towards AGI. “The level of complexity, and I think the newer research it will take, will increase. I’m sure we’ll do that together [with Microsoft],” Altman told Scott.

At the event, Scott said that if the system that trained GPT-3 was a shark and GPT-4 an orca, the model being trained now is the size of a whale. “This whale-sized supercomputer is hard at work right now,” he added.

This is from Kevin Scott's presentation on scale. He said the shark is the hardware they built for OpenAI to train GPT-3 in 2020. The Orca they built for GPT-4 in 2022. To train the next model 'The system that we have *just deployed* is scale wise about the size of a whale' pic.twitter.com/nx0a5o0erC

— Andrew Curran (@AndrewCurran_) May 22, 2024

Microsoft is undoubtedly betting big on OpenAI. As revealed in email exchanges, the company invested $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019 because it was ‘very worried’ that Google was years ahead in scaling up its AI efforts.

OpenAI loves Apple

If you carefully examine Microsoft’s announcements and offerings at Microsoft Build, you will see that the focus was largely on OpenAI. GPT-4o, OpenAI’s newest flagship model, is now available on Azure AI Studio and as an API.

Moreover, the new features added to Copilot, such as Team Copilot and Agents in Microsoft Copilot Studio, are all powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4.

In contrast, OpenAI’s Spring Update painted a completely different picture.

Throughout its announcements and demos, OpenAI exclusively used Apple products like MacBooks and iPhones, with no sign of Microsoft Windows products. This was particularly conspicuous after recent reports claimed that OpenAI and Apple have finalised a deal to integrate OpenAI’s models into Siri to enhance its conversational abilities.

One wouldn’t be surprised if Altman shared the stage with Apple chief Tim Cook at WWDC 2024.

Apple and OpenAI to Announce Major Partnership at WWDC, Introducing AI Features in iOS 18
🚀 Apple and OpenAI to announce a major partnership at Apple's WWDC on June 10.
📱 Apple will focus on on-device AI features, with additional cloud-based services.
💡 Bloomberg's Mark… pic.twitter.com/X2zwNasSwH

— Rory James (@GenAI_Sales) May 20, 2024

Altman recently lauded the Cupertino-based tech giant for its technology prowess, saying, “iPhone is the greatest piece of technology humanity has ever made”, and it’s tough to get beyond it as “the bar is quite high”.

OpenAI released a ChatGPT desktop app for macOS, with plans to launch a Windows version later this year. However, at Microsoft Build, the company announced Copilot, built using GPT-4o, which is quite similar to the ChatGPT desktop app. Copilot records the user’s screen and assists them in their tasks.

OpenAI didn’t ship the Windows app for ChatGPT because Microsoft is doing it pic.twitter.com/HPsr7v6WWI

— Pete (@nonmayorpete) May 20, 2024

Meanwhile, Microsoft has also been building its own SLMs, such as Phi-3, to avoid appearing overly dependent on OpenAI. The company recently released the Phi-3 vision model.

According to recent reports, Microsoft is also building a large LLM referred to as MAI-1 (possibly Microsoft AI-1). The model, being developed internally by the company, is around 500 billion parameters in size. Its development is being headed by Mustafa Suleyman, Microsoft chief of AI.

Scott went on LinkedIn to explain that this was not, in any way, a competition to OpenAI.

“I’m not sure why this is news, but just to summarise the obvious: we build big supercomputers to train 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,” he said.

Even though Microsoft and OpenAI are doing their own things, for now the partnership is going strong and who knows we might get GPT-5 by November.

The post Microsoft Loves OpenAI, but OpenAI is Crushing on Apple appeared first on AIM.

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