Microsoft’s OpenAI investment triggered by Google progress, emails show

Microsoft’s OpenAI investment According to a new report, this is likely due to concerns over Google’s artificial intelligence progress. The tech giant invested $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019 because it was reportedly “very concerned” that Google was moving too fast. global ai race,

E-mail,The recipient business InsiderMicrosoft’s chief technology officer, Kevin Scott, is reportedly telling CEO Satya Nadella and Bill Gates that Google’s AI-powered “auto-complete in Gmail” is “going great.”

He said that Microsoft is several years behind in terms of competition. [machine learning] scale.”

The emails, titled “Thoughts on OpenAI”, were released to the public on Tuesday (April 30) as part of a US Department of Justice investigation. Antitrust case against Google, A significant portion of Scott’s emails were censored.

What did the Microsoft email say?

In his email addressed to Nadella and Gates on June 12, 2019, Scott says, “We are years behind the competition in terms of machine learning scale.” He explains that it took Microsoft engineers six months to replicate and train Google’s BERT language model, attributing the delay to inadequate infrastructure, as “our infrastructure was not up to the task.”

He said, “In the time it took us to hack the ability to train a 340M parameter model, they had a year to figure out how to get it into production and move on to larger-scale, more interesting models ” This advance was clearly impacting Microsoft’s competitive position. Scott highlighted a significant improvement in Google’s products, saying, “We’re already seeing the results of that work in the competitive analysis of their products.”

“One of the Q&A competitive metrics that we see is up 10 percentage points on Google Search because of a BERT-like model,” he explains. Google’s enhancements were also particularly effective in practical applications, as seen with Gmail’s auto-complete feature, which they described as “very good”, especially on mobile devices.

Scott admits that he initially underestimated the AI ​​efforts of OpenAI and Google DeepMind, which were competing to demonstrate “the most impressive game-playing stunt” – a clear allusion to Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo Zero demonstrations. There was a signal. However, as his attention turned to natural language processing models, his stance changed. “When I tried to understand where the gap in capability between Google and us was for model training, I became very, very concerned,” he wrote.

In response, Nadella highlighted the importance of the email, saying “why I want us to do this,” and included Microsoft’s Chief Financial Officer, Amy Hood, in the conversation by adding her to the email chain.

ReadWrite has contacted Microsoft for comment.

Featured Image: Canva / Brian Smalley and Microsoft