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San-Francisco based AI research lab OpenAI is looking to give up on its existing shares in a tender offer, roughly valued at $29 billion, making it one of the most-valuable US startups on paper. OpenAI is the mastermind behind the most-talked about chatbot ChatGPT, which has been making headlines since its launch in November last year.
Investment groups like Founders Fund and Thrive Capital are discussing buying OpenAI’s existing shares, including the ones from its employees. The deal, where at least $300 million in OpenAI shares could be sold, can increase the company’s valuation from $20 billion (2021). OpenAI would become one of the few startups to acquire capital at higher prices in the private market, which has been in the dark for a while as investors are sceptical of new deals concerning last year’s tech dip. According to reports, the value of venture capital acquisition deals fell to $763 million in the final three months of 2022, the first time it had been below $1 billion in more than ten years.
Built on GPT-3.5, ChatGPT can interact with humans in natural language with text and also remember the context. But it has its fair share of cons, including biases and factually wrong answers.
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The company, which recently celebrated its seven-year anniversary, is heavily backed by tech giant Microsoft for running its model for inference and training. The game-changing partnership of OpenAI–Microsoft trades back to 2019 when the latter invested $1 billion in OpenAI to facilitate its building Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) project. As a result, Microsoft became the preferred partner for monetising new computing technologies for services like GitHub Copilot, the search engine Bing (with rumours about it being powered by ChatGPT soon) and the design app Microsoft Design.
At the Microsoft Future Ready Leadership Summit 2022 in Mumbai, its chief Satya Nadella spoke about ChatGPT, saying that it “reflects the emergence of a new reasoning engine and the ways it can be augmented,” Azure already includes OpenAI technology from Microsoft; and the Azure OpenAI Service, which combines OpenAI models with Microsoft features like security, compliance, and regional availability in Azure, was first released last year. In the coming months, Microsoft may also increase its investments in OpenAI.