If you're deemed cool enough, Microsoft will offer you access to Azure-based GPT-3

Text'n'code-emitting system still available from OpenAI


Ignite Microsoft will provide access to OpenAI’s text'n'code-generating GPT-3 model via an API service in the Azure cloud.

The machine-learning system will be part of Azure Cognitive Services, though it won't be generally available just yet; Microsoft is only working with select customers that have been invited to use the API. Up until now commercial access to the model was solely managed by OpenAI.

“We are just in the beginning stages of figuring out what the power and potential of GPT-3 is, which is what makes it so interesting,” Eric Boyd, Microsoft corporate vice president for Azure AI, said on Tuesday as Microsoft kicked off its annual Ignite conference.

“Now we are taking what OpenAI has released and making it available with all the enterprise promises that businesses need to move into production.”

Microsoft and OpenAI have a cozy relationship. Last year Microsoft obtained exclusive rights to OpenAI's GPT-3 model. OpenAI agreed to give up the chance of hawking its large language model via Azure's rival providers, such as Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services, in return for access to Microsoft’s extensive cloud resources.

Microsoft previously said OpenAI could use its in-house AI supercomputer that contains “more than 285,000 CPU cores and 10,000 GPUs” for its AI experimentation. Building non-trivial machine-learning systems requires huge amounts of computing power. Developers need to repeatedly train them on large datasets to improve their performance. It costs millions of dollars to train a model as large as GPT-3.

Companies have used the text-generating software to do all sorts of language tasks from automated content moderation to building online text-based games.

“GPT-3 has really proven itself as the first powerful, general purpose model for natural language — it’s one model you can use for all these things, which developers love because you can try things very easily,” OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman said. “For a while now, we’ve wanted to figure out a way to scale it as broadly as possible, which is part of the thing that really excites us about the partnership with Microsoft.”

Given a writing prompt, GPT-3 generates hopefully relevant text in response; it functions a bit like autocomplete. It can be used to do things like code generation, translation, text summarisation, creative writing, or question and answering. But it's difficult to control the model’s outputs, and it's been known to generate racist, sexist, or inappropriate responses before. Microsoft said it will offer customers content filters to screen GPT-3’s text and is only supporting companies that are applying the software in “well-defined use cases” that are low risk.

“The content filter is Microsoft’s own, which takes into account learnings from both OpenAI’s experience and Microsoft’s Office, Bing and Xbox teams. Additionally, OpenAI and Microsoft are working together on more Responsible AI tooling for customers,” a spokesperson told The Register.

“Azure OpenAI Service has its own terms of use, separate from the OpenAI API.”

The API will still be sold via OpenAI, too, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to The Register: “Azure OpenAI Service does not replace OpenAI’s API. OpenAI’s GPT-3 commercial service provides access to the latest model instances and technologies to help teams ideate, innovate and develop applications that will later be put in production. Azure OpenAI Service is a new Azure Cognitive Service that will give select customers access to OpenAI’s GPT-3 technology with the enterprise-ready capabilities of Microsoft Azure."

“Invited customers will be able to access Azure OpenAI Service through their existing Azure account. We will have specifics about pricing available in the future,” they added. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021