Microsoft is bringing ChatGPT, with all its promises and shortcomings, to world-plus-dog as a cloud service in Azure.
This week, Redmond was “delighted to announce” that ChatGPT will be selectively available as a preview in the Azure OpenAI service. This service is primarily for companies that want to implement extended language models in their applications and workflows, like using Dall-E2 to generate images, GPT-3.5 for text, and Codex for something that looks like code.
By making ChatGPT available from Azure, organizations participating in the program can now leverage the software, integrate it into their applications and pipelines, and generate walls of text for any purpose they can successfully justify, as well what do the talkative and imaginative bot interact with users.
“Developers can embed personalized AI-powered experiences directly into their own apps, including enhancing existing bots to handle unexpected questions, summarizing call center conversations to enable faster customer support resolutions, creating new ads with personalized offers, automating claims handling, and more.” Eric Boyd, vice president of Microsoft’s AI platform, raved.
“Cognitive services can be combined with Azure OpenAI to create compelling use cases for enterprises.”
Then again, it looks like isn’t it. Microsoft is billions in OpenAI. Part of this investment agreement includes a pact in which Microsoft obtains the rights to commercialize OpenAI’s technology. And that includes the beginner’s ChatGPT text generator, a non-intelligent bot that predicts what humans might write given given input prompts. You can ask him to come up with a movie synopsis, for example, and he’ll do it.
Redmond has aggressively injected machine learning capabilities into much of its portfolio and cloud services, launching Azure OpenAI Services in 2021. There has been some success. According to Boyd, more than 1,000 companies use the system, with Microsoft citing examples such as Moveworks, KPMG and Al Jazeera.
Now they and other organizations can try out ChatGPT in Azure and everything that comes with it. The service, in preview mode right now, will cost $0.002 per 1,000 tokens. Pricing for OpenAI’s various AI models is based on tokens, which the upstart describes as chunks of words, with 1,000 tokens representing about 750 words.
Billing for ChatGPT usage begins March 13. Developers can request access to software in Azure here.
The bot, which is trained on mountains of text extracted from internet pages and other sources, quickly captured the imagination of the world after it was made available to the public through OpenAI’s website in November. According to a study based in part on statistics from Similarweb, the bot became the fastest app to reach 100 million users, reaching that milestone in early February.
There are problems.
In a column at the beginning of this month in The register, Alexander Hanff, computer scientist and privacy specialist, told how the chatbot told him he was dead, and doubled down with fake obituaries. We also reported other issues.
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None of this is likely to stop Microsoft from continuing to integrate the code into its products, which already include Bing, Edge and Skype. The Windows 11 giant will talk more about plans for ChatGPT and other AI technologies at a March 16 event titled “The Future of Work with AI,” which will be moderated by CEO Satya Nadella.
Microsoft’s Boyd gave a nod to the challenges that come with AI tools like ChatGPT.
“We recognize that any innovation in AI must be done responsibly,” he said. “This becomes even more important with powerful new technologies like generative models. We have taken an iterative approach to large models, working closely with our partner OpenAI and our customers to carefully assess use cases, learn and process potential risks.”
When developers apply to use Azure’s ChatGPT, they must describe how they intend to use the technology before being granted access to it, Microsoft said. It also plans to filter out abusive and offensive content.
“In the event of a confirmed violation of the policy, we may require the developer to take immediate action to prevent further abuse,” he added. ®