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posted by janrinok on Wednesday January 25, @12:16PM   Printer-friendly
from the *delete-humans*-*insert-AI* dept.

On Monday, AI tech darling OpenAI announced that it received a "multi-year, multi-billion dollar investment" from Microsoft, following previous investments in 2019 and 2021. While the two companies have not officially announced a dollar amount on the deal, the news follows rumors of a $10 billion investment that emerged two weeks ago.

[...] "The past three years of our partnership have been great," said Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, in a Microsoft news release. "Microsoft shares our values and we are excited to continue our independent research and work toward creating advanced AI that benefits everyone."

In particular, the two companies say they will work on supercomputing at scale to accelerate OpenAI's research, integrating OpenAI's technology into more Microsoft products and "digital experiences" and keeping Microsoft as OpenAI's exclusive cloud provider with Azure. "OpenAI has used this infrastructure to train its breakthrough models, which are now deployed in Azure to power category-defining AI products like GitHub Copilot, DALL·E 2, and ChatGPT," wrote Microsoft.

Microsoft Announces 10,000 Layoffs, 5% of its Workforce

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Microsoft Announces 10,000 Layoffs, 5% of its Workforce 19 comments

Microsoft announces 10,000 layoffs, 5% of its workforce:

Microsoft is "focusing on our short- and long-term opportunity", which is to say it's laying off 10,000 people.

First, we will align our cost structure with our revenue and where we see customer demand. Today, we are making changes that will result in the reduction of our overall workforce by 10,000 jobs through the end of FY23 Q3. This represents less than 5 percent of our total employee base, with some notifications happening today. It's important to note that while we are eliminating roles in some areas, we will continue to hire in key strategic areas. We know this is a challenging time for each person impacted. The senior leadership team and I are committed that as we go through this process, we will do so in the most thoughtful and transparent way possible.

Second, we will continue to invest in strategic areas for our future, meaning we are allocating both our capital and talent to areas of secular growth and long-term competitiveness for the company, while divesting in other areas. These are the kinds of hard choices we have made throughout our 47-year history to remain a consequential company in this industry that is unforgiving to anyone who doesn't adapt to platform shifts. As such, we are taking a $1.2 billion charge in Q2 related to severance costs, changes to our hardware portfolio, and the cost of lease consolidation as we create higher density across our workspaces.

And third, we will treat our people with dignity and respect, and act transparently. These decisions are difficult, but necessary. They are especially difficult because they impact people and people's lives – our colleagues and friends. We are committed to ensuring all those whose roles are eliminated have our full support during these transitions. U.S.-benefit-eligible employees will receive a variety of benefits, including above-market severance pay, continuing healthcare coverage for six months, continued vesting of stock awards for six months, career transition services, and 60 days' notice prior to termination, regardless of whether such notice is legally required. Benefits for employees outside the U.S. will align with the employment laws in each country.

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OpenAI Has Hired an Army of Contractors to Make Basic Coding Obsolete 54 comments

OpenAI, the company behind the chatbot ChatGPT, has ramped up its hiring around the world, bringing on roughly 1,000 remote contractors over the past six months in regions like Latin America and Eastern Europe, according to people familiar with the matter:

About 60% of the contractors were hired to do what's called "data labeling" — creating massive sets of images, audio clips, and other information that can then be used to train artificial intelligence tools or autonomous vehicles.

The other 40% are computer programmers who are creating data for OpenAI's models to learn software engineering tasks. OpenAI's existing Codex product, launched in Aug. 2021, is designed to translate natural language into code.

[...] Previously, OpenAI trained its models on code scraped from GitHub, a repository site owned by its largest investor, Microsoft, which last week confirmed multi billion dollars in new funding first reported by Semafor. But in this case, OpenAI appears to be building a dataset that includes not just lines of code, but also the human explanations behind them written in natural language.

[...] Sam Altman, OpenAI's CEO, recently put the company's headcount at 375 people, a tiny number compared to the thousands of staff at tech giants like Google and Facebook working on artificial intelligence. "I know I'm not supposed to brag about OpenAI," he tweeted, touting the company's "talent density."

Originally spotted on The Eponymous Pickle.

Previously: Why OpenAI's Codex Won't Replace Coders

Related: OpenAI and Microsoft Announce Extended, Multi-Billion-Dollar Partnership

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Baidu Shares Fall After Ernie AI Chatbot Demo Disappoints 7 comments

Shares of Baidu fell as much as 10 percent on Thursday after the web search company showed only a pre-recorded video of its AI chatbot Ernie in the first public release of China's answer to ChatGPT.

The Beijing-based tech company has claimed Ernie will remake its business and for weeks talked up plans to incorporate generative artificial intelligence into its search engine and other products.

But on Thursday, millions of people tuning in to the event were left with little idea of whether Baidu's chatbot could compete with ChatGPT.
"We can only explore by ourselves. Training ChatGPT took OpenAI more than a year, and it took them another year to tune GPT-4," said one Baidu employee. "It means we're two years behind."

Baidu did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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  • (Score: 4, Touché) by PiMuNu on Wednesday January 25, @12:41PM (1 child)

    by PiMuNu (3823) on Wednesday January 25, @12:41PM (#1288517)

    > Microsoft shares our values

    Nuff said

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by acid andy on Wednesday January 25, @05:18PM

      by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday January 25, @05:18PM (#1288556) Homepage Journal

      Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!

      Master of the science of the art of the science of art.
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by quietus on Wednesday January 25, @12:55PM (5 children)

    by quietus (6328) on Wednesday January 25, @12:55PM (#1288519) Journal

    It is only a matter of time for the integration of ChatGPT and Bing, and Google being attacked on its home turf. They should have seen this coming: Google Apps, in combination with Chrome, was a blatant attack on Microsoft's core business.

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday January 25, @02:49PM (1 child)

      by Freeman (732) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 25, @02:49PM (#1288529) Journal

      Considering this is just another fresh installation of Cash from Microsoft. Google just wasn't quite expecting it to be ready so soon or possibly even viable at all.

      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 2) by quietus on Wednesday January 25, @03:20PM

        by quietus (6328) on Wednesday January 25, @03:20PM (#1288538) Journal

        I've got the impression Google lost the plot much earlier i.e. when they failed to either buy Github, or provide a decent alternative. They seem to have forgotten they're really a software company, where the way to prevail is to win the best developers, not the other way round.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, @04:58PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, @04:58PM (#1288551)

      Try this:

      Ask youself how much a gallon of water weighs. NO GOOGLE.
      Then ask google a simple question []. How reasonable does that look to you?

      Google's "smarts" got defeated by champion spammy bullshitters. ChatGPT could destroy search engines in general.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, @02:13AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, @02:13AM (#1288631)

        > how much a gallon of water weighs

        I'm old enough to remember that it's around 8 pounds so the answer will be something about 5 lbs. The Google results were bizarre for sure. When I'm looking for something definitive, I sometimes turn to a curated source of data, for example, Wolfram|Alpha -- []

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, @02:16AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, @02:16AM (#1288632)

          > something about 5 lbs.
          something about 5 gallons!!

  • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, @01:42PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, @01:42PM (#1288521)

    When does the 'truthiness' knob get installed?
    Will Clippy control it?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Wednesday January 25, @03:09PM (2 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 25, @03:09PM (#1288532) Journal

      ChatGPT may be wrong, but its confidence makes up for that. So that makes it okay to depend upon its results.

      I remember 45 years ago: if something came out of the high speed line printer on green-white striped pinfeed paper, then it MUST be gospel truth! Those numbers simply could not be wrong and must be trusted without question. Because it's a computer! It cannot possibly be wrong.

      Can't large language models be put in charge of resolving ethical issues related to the use of AI?
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, @04:53PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, @04:53PM (#1288549)
        ChatGPT for Chief Marketing Officer or CEO even...
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by ElizabethGreene on Thursday January 26, @05:57AM

        by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Thursday January 26, @05:57AM (#1288657)

        I learned a trick about this. In your prompt, include "If you are uncertain about the answer, say I don't know." Also, it's perfectly acceptable to ask for a confidence level on data.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Gaaark on Wednesday January 25, @11:49PM

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 25, @11:49PM (#1288610) Journal

    OpenAI is an AI research and deployment company. Our mission is to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.

    Watch for this to change.

    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---