Microsoft Reportedly Building a GPT-4 Competitor Despite $10 Billion OpenAI Partnership


Microsoft is said to be building an OpenAI competitor despite its multi-billion-dollar partnership with the firm — and according to at least one insider, it's using GPT-4 data to do so.

First reported by The Information, the new large language model (LLM) is apparently called MAI-1, and an inside source told the website that Microsoft is using GPT-4 and public information from the web to train it out.

MAI-1 may also be trained on datasets from Inflection, the startup previously run by Google DeepMind cofounder Mustafa Suleyman before he joined Microsoft as the CEO of its AI department earlier this year. When it hired Suleyman, Microsoft also brought over most of Inflection's staff and folded them into Microsoft AI.

In a LinkedIn post responding to The Information's reporting, Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott suggested that news of MAI-1 wasn't that big of a deal.

"I'm not sure why this is news, but just to summarize the obvious: we build big supercomputers to train AI models; our partner Open AI 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," Scott wrote. "We rather like this arrangement."

Purpose Unknown

All the same, some of the specifics of the forthcoming LLM, including that it's slated to be larger than those being created by Meta and the French AI startup Mistral, suggest that there may be some internal competition brewing between OpenAI and its biggest investor.

While it's going to be big, it's unclear what, exactly, MAI-1 is going to be used for. According to The Information's sources, Microsoft is remaining somewhat agnostic about the LLMs purpose and is waiting to see how it performs to determine what it will do.

As OpenAI CEO Sam Altman remains tight-lipped about when GPT-5, the successor to the LLM undergirding ChatGPT, is going to drop, the new report's sources suggest that Microsoft could preview MAI-1 as soon as its Build conference, which takes place later this month.

It remains unclear if and when Microsoft informed OpenAI of its MAI-1 intentions, and Futurism has reached out to both companies to ask them about that timeline as well.

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