Published in AI

Microsoft and OpenAI’s relationship getting awkward

by on15 June 2023

Vole is just too aggressive for the passive OpenAI

The relationship between Microsoft and OpenAI is getting "awkward" due to tension and confusion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Microsoft's internal AI team has been facing budget cuts and limited access to OpenAI technology, but apparently, OpenAI was not so keen on the fact that Vole rollout an AI-powered Bing search last February.

At that time, Bing was found to be vulnerable to prompt injection attacks revealing company secrets and providing sometimes inaccurate and truly unhinged responses to user prompts.

OpenAI warned Microsoft "about the perils of rushing to integrate OpenAI's technology without training it more" and "suggested Microsoft move slower on integrating its AI technology with Bing."

A top concern for OpenAI was that Bing's chatbot, Sydney, might give inaccurate or unhinged responses, but Microsoft seemingly ignored this early warning.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella suggested that any hiccups with Sydney at first were just part of Microsoft's plan for training the chatbot to respond to real-world prompts that couldn't be tested in a lab.

"We did not launch Sydney with GPT-4 the first day I saw it because we had to do much work to build a safety harness. But we also knew we couldn't do all the alignment in the lab. To align an AI model with the world, you have to align it in the world and not in some simulation."

This only partly shows Microsoft’s urge to press forward. Another reason was that OpenAI started ChatGPT's public testing while Microsoft was still working on integrating OpenAI tech into Bing. Effectively they were both rivals in an AI race to capture the world's attention.

As ChatGPT's success grew, some Microsoft employees raised concerns that ChatGPT was stealing Bing's "thunder," WSJ reported. Others sensibly posited that Microsoft could learn valuable lessons ahead of Bing's rollout from ChatGPT's early public testing.

ChatGPT ultimately won the AI race, instantly attracting the fastest-growing user base in history. Meanwhile, the new Bing, released a month later, has yet to come close to the breakout success of ChatGPT.

Vole’s staff are also concerned about lacking "access to the inner workings" of OpenAI's technology, making it harder to integrate that tech into various Microsoft products. Then there is the small matter of  OpenAI's and Microsoft's sales teams "pitching the same customers."


Last modified on 15 June 2023
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