January 30, 2023

It’s solely been per week since Microsoft introduced they had been shedding 10,000 human workers throughout their varied divisions (together with their video games studios), however they’ve now revealed they’ll be investing billions of {dollars} into driving breakthroughs in AI. Microsoft might be pumping the cash into futuristic tech agency OpenAI, which operates Turing-botherer chatbot ChatGPT and its inventive relative DALL-E. OpenAI’s already obtained two investments from Microsoft, one in 2019 and one other in 2021. This third funding is meant to be “multi-year” and “multibillion greenback”, permitting each firms to “independently commercialize” no matter budding Skynets emerge.

In a press release on their corpo weblog, Microsoft stated the analysis partnership would give attention to three predominant areas: supercomputing at scale, the cloud, and “new AI-powered experiences”. That final one’s related to us, as a result of Microsoft are planning to make use of OpenAI’s tech of their client merchandise. Whether or not which means Microsoft’s Home windows software program or their Xbox and PC video games hasn’t been mentioned publicly but, nevertheless it’s doable that advances in responsive AI or asset technology might be included into each additional down the road.

AI tech is already being utilized to video games. I’ve already written about DALL-E’s success at producing character portraits for Baldur’s Gate, and Google engineers lately used AI to create pictures for traditional text-adventure Zork. Microsoft have even been dropping AI into text-adventure mazes themselves since 2018 to coach them up, and earlier this month they stated they had been experimenting with AI to create sensible voices from textual content. Intelligent clogs ChatGPT simply handed the US medical licensing examination, too, and appears to be doing fairly nicely with its effort to land a enterprise diploma, so it most likely wouldn’t battle pretending to be a Khajit skooma seller to flog you a few of its wares in future Elder Scrolls video games.

Both method, this announcement feels poorly timed. Microsoft laid off 1000’s of workers final week, together with workers at Bethesda, Halo stewards 343 Industries, and Gears group The Coalition. The corporate are additionally nonetheless within the strategy of buying Name Of Responsibility and Overwatch writer Activision Blizzard for the sum of $68.7 billion (£56 billion), a deal introduced final January.

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