Microsoft is pouring nearly $10 billion into SF startup despite layoffs

Microsoft is pouring billions into San Francisco artificial intelligence startup OpenAI in a multiyear partnership, the tech giant confirmed on Monday.

The massive investment, which the New York Times reported would total $10 billion, is a sign of a potential new era for a tech industry reeling from hundreds of thousands of global layoffs, including $10,000 at Microsoft just last week.

It’s a huge bet that AI will be a transformative force for the tech industry and society, on par or perhaps surpassing the mobile phone and desktop revolutions. Microsoft said its partnership would help OpenAI scale globally and integrate the startup’s technology into Microsoft services like Azure.

“We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in statement. Microsoft previously invested $3 billion in OpenAI.

Last week, Nadella wrote in a memo to staff. that Microsoft’s cuts were meant to shift staff and money to its priority areas, which includes AI.

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