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OpenAI’s Apple deal might actually be good for Microsoft too

Sam Altman and Satya NadellaOpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella at OpenAI’s developer conference.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

  • OpenAI’s partnership with Apple is now official after Monday’s WWDC keynote.
  • The lucrative deal cements OpenAI’s place at the center of the AI revolution.
  • The deal could also be good news for Microsoft, OpenAI’s biggest backer.

When reports first emerged that OpenAI had secured a partnership with Apple, it was rumored to have raised the eyebrows of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Microsoft is OpenAI‘s largest backer and closest business partner. The pair have collaborated on several products and Microsoft reportedly invested billions in the AI company.

Prior to the official announcement of the Apple-OpenAI deal, Nadella is thought to have met CEO Sam Altman to discuss the deal’s potential impact on Microsoft’s product ambitions.

According to The Information, Nadella had concerns about how the new partnership might affect the company’s cloud software.

Days later, Apple and OpenAI made the partnership official at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. The iPhone maker will offer optional ChatGPT integration to its software, allowing users to interact with the chatbot via Siri or when completing tasks within apps.

Altman didn’t take to the stage, but did attend the event.

Sam Altman WWDCSam Altman attends Apple’s WWDC.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Apple deal is a boost for OpenAI and for Altman personally, who has been rocked by scandals in recent weeks. OpenAI’s new partnership, which it reportedly won over Google, cements the company’s place at the center of the AI revolution — dragging Microsoft along with it and taking some of the limelight off rival Google.

OpenAI and Microsoft have been trying to prove their independence from each other amid regulatory scrutiny, per Bloomberg. Microsoft has been beefing up its internal AI capabilities, making prominent industry hires, and attempting to reduce its dependence on OpenAI’s GPT-4.

‘Trojan horse’

For OpenAI, a deal potentially worth billions with one of Microsoft’s key rivals looks like a decisive step out of Satya Nadella’s shadow.

However, as a report by Venture Beat notes, the deal could also offer Microsoft an opportunity to use OpenAI as a “Trojan horse” inside one of its key competitors.

Any potential insights the AI company gains from Apple or its user data could indirectly benefit Microsoft’s investment. Meanwhile, the relationship between OpenAI and Apple could also pave the way for friendlier relations between Apple and Microsoft in the future.

Representatives for Apple, Microsoft, and OpenAI did not immediately respond to requests for comment, made outside normal working hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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