How Microsoft could use ChatGPT to power its products | CNN Business



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Is ChatGPT the new Clippy?

Shortly after Microsoft confirmed its plans this week to invest billions in OpenAI, the company behind the new viral AI chatbot tool ChatGPT, some people began joking on social media that the technology would help power the much-hated chatbot. , wide-eyed, virtual in the form of a clip. attendee.

While Clippy may mostly be a thing of the past, the company’s move to double down on AI tools promises to do what Clippy never did: transforming our way of working.

“There is some truth to the Clippy comparison,” said David Lobina, an artificial intelligence analyst at ABI Research. “Clippy wasn’t based on AI, and it wasn’t based on machine learning, but ChatGPT is a pretty sophisticated autocomplete tool, and in that sense, it’s a much better version of Clippy.”

Since it became available in late November, ChatGPT has been used to generate original essays, stories and song lyrics in response to user input. He has written summaries of research papers that misled some scientists. Some CEOs have even used it to write emails or do accounting tasks.

For Microsoft, the integration of the chatbot tool could make its core software products more powerful. Some potential use cases include writing lines of text for a PowerPoint presentation, writing an essay in Word, or automatically entering data into Excel spreadsheets. For Microsoft’s Bing search engine, ChatGPT could provide more personalized search results and better summarize web pages.

All of the above suggestions were generated by asking ChatGPT various forms of the question: “How could Microsoft integrate ChatGPT into its products?” Microsoft, for its part, has said little about possible integrations beyond recently announcing plans to add ChatGPT features to its cloud computing service.

“Microsoft will implement OpenAI models in our consumer and enterprise products and introduce new categories of digital experiences based on OpenAI technology,” Microsoft said in a press release this week, announcing the expanded partnership.

When Microsoft first invested in OpenAI in 2019, CEO Satya Nadella said he believed artificial intelligence would be “one of the most transformative technologies of our time.” But it arguably wasn’t until last year, with multiple new releases of OpenAI, including ChatGPT and the powerful DALL-E imager, that the significant potential of the partnership became widely apparent.

Suddenly, Microsoft seems to be in a leading position in Silicon Valley’s high-stakes AI race. Now it’s working closely with a company, OpenAI, and a product, ChatGPT, that reportedly caught Google off guard and apparently caused a bit of frustration from Meta’s chief AI scientist.

“Microsoft is not a leader in AI research today, but with this exclusive agreement with OpenAI, they will be catapulted into the heart of things,” Lobina said.

The investment in OpenAI was announced days after Microsoft confirmed plans to lay off 10,000 employees as part of broader cost-cutting measures. Nadella said the company will continue to invest in “strategic areas for our future,” calling advances in AI “the next big wave” of computing.

Jason Wong, an analyst with market research firm Gartner, told CNN it makes sense why Microsoft aggressively pursues AI, calling it “the secret sauce for apps built and running in the cloud.”

But there could be risks for Microsoft in using and partnering with OpenAI technology. Both ChatGPT and DALL-E are trained on large amounts of data to generate content. That has raised some concerns about the potential for these tools to perpetuate the biases found in that data and spread misinformation. For Microsoft, that could make it difficult to integrate the tool into specific products.

“Systems like ChatGPT can be quite unreliable, making things up as they go and giving different answers to the same questions, not to mention sexist and racist biases,” Lobina said. Microsoft, she said, will probably want to “wait before allowing GPT systems to answer online search queries.”

While ChatGPT has gained traction among users, a growing number of schools and teachers are also concerned about ChatGPT’s immediate impact on students and its ability to cheat on assignments. Integrating ChatGPT too quickly into Microsoft products could risk schools reconsidering using that software.

Despite the issues that could create negative publicity for companies associated with these tools, Microsoft clearly recognizes its opportunity to become a leader in artificial intelligence.

“Microsoft continues to invest a significant amount of research and development in AI and innovations that require AI behind it, such as computer vision technologies, but [these technologies] they’re not as obvious to their users,” said Gartner’s Wong. “This is the phenomenon of ‘everyday AI’, where AI is in the background and customers take it for granted.”

With the introduction of ChatGPT, he said, the potential of OpenAI has been shown “to the masses.” The same can be true of Microsoft.

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