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

  • GPL legal battle: Vizio told by judge it will have to answer breach-of-contract claims
    Fine-print crucially deemed contractual agreement as well as copyright license in smartTV source-code case

    The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) has won a significant legal victory in its ongoing effort to force Vizio to publish the source code of its SmartCast TV software, which is said to contain GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 copyleft-licensed components.

    SFC sued Vizio, claiming it was in breach of contract by failing to obey the terms of the GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 licenses that require source code to be made public when certain conditions are met, and sought declaratory relief on behalf of Vizio TV owners. SFC wanted its breach-of-contract arguments to be heard by the Orange County Superior Court in California, though Vizio kicked the matter up to the district court level in central California where it hoped to avoid the contract issue and defend its corner using just federal copyright law.

    On Friday, Federal District Judge Josephine Staton sided with SFC and granted its motion to send its lawsuit back to superior court. To do so, Judge Staton had to decide whether or not the federal Copyright Act preempted the SFC's breach-of-contract allegations; in the end, she decided it didn't.

    Continue reading
  • US brings first-of-its-kind criminal charges of Bitcoin-based sanctions-busting
    Citizen allegedly moved $10m-plus in BTC into banned nation

    US prosecutors have accused an American citizen of illegally funneling more than $10 million in Bitcoin into an economically sanctioned country.

    It's said the resulting criminal charges of sanctions busting through the use of cryptocurrency are the first of their kind to be brought in the US.

    Under the United States' International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEA), it is illegal for a citizen or institution within the US to transfer funds, directly or indirectly, to a sanctioned country, such as Iran, Cuba, North Korea, or Russia. If there is evidence the IEEA was willfully violated, a criminal case should follow. If an individual or financial exchange was unwittingly involved in evading sanctions, they may be subject to civil action. 

    Continue reading
  • Meta hires network chip guru from Intel: What does this mean for future silicon?
    Why be a customer when you can develop your own custom semiconductors

    Analysis Here's something that should raise eyebrows in the datacenter world: Facebook parent company Meta has hired a veteran networking chip engineer from Intel to lead silicon design efforts in the internet giant's infrastructure hardware engineering group.

    Jon Dama started as director of silicon in May for Meta's infrastructure hardware group, a role that has him "responsible for several design teams innovating the datacenter for scale," according to his LinkedIn profile. In a blurb, Dama indicated that a team is already in place at Meta, and he hopes to "scale the next several doublings of data processing" with them.

    Though we couldn't confirm it, we think it's likely that Dama is reporting to Alexis Bjorlin, Meta's vice president of infrastructure hardware who previously worked with Dama when she was general manager of Intel's Connectivity group before serving a two-year stint at Broadcom.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022