Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service Generally Available, ChatGPT API Coming Soon
Microsoft has made its Azure OpenAI Service generally available, bringing the enterprise generative AI tools out of its invite-only program. Now any customers who meet Microsoft’s standards can access the professional versions of OpenAI’s large language model GPT-3.5 and the related text-to-image tool DALL-E 2, computer programming assistant Codex, and the popular ChatGPT chatbot interface for the LLM.
Azure OpenAI Opening
Microsoft launched the Azure OpenAI Service with an eye toward offering businesses a way to develop apps without coding, write reports, and put together marketing content. The scope has grown since then to encompass new facets of the OpenAI’s models, including chat and visuals. Those interested in the tools have to explain how they will use the AI tools and agree to Microsoft’s ethical guidelines in their application for access. The decision to widen the Azure OpenAI Service’s availability arrives in tandem with Microsoft’s plans to integrate ChatGPT and DALL-E into its Office suite, Bing search engine, and other consumer products. Azure OpenAI Service followed earlier experiments to integrate GPT-3 into Microsoft projects like the low-code Power Apps programming tool and the GitHub Copilot programming assistant.
“We debuted Azure OpenAI Service in November 2021 to enable customers to tap into the power of large-scale generative AI models with the enterprise promises customers have come to expect from our Azure cloud and computing infrastructure—security, reliability, compliance, data privacy, and built-in Responsible AI capabilities,” Microsoft AI platform corporate vice president Eric Boyd explained in the announcement. “Since then, one of the most exciting things we’ve seen is the breadth of use cases Azure OpenAI Service has enabled our customers—from generating content that helps better match shoppers with the right purchases to summarizing customer service tickets, freeing up time for employees to focus on more critical tasks.”
ChatGPT is not yet a part of Azure OpenAI Service, but Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave his assurances that it is “coming soon” in a tweet about the news. OpenAI tweeted a similar promise, along with the news that ChatGPT will also be available as an API in the near future. There is no ChatGPT API right now, though some products have invoked ChatGPT to tap into the interest garnered by the chatbot. Usually, that means the product uses an API of GPT-3.5, the same foundational model as ChatGPT, but without the refinements and fine-tuning employed by OpenAI. Those interested in accessing the ChatGPT API can now sign up for the chance to be in the first wave of users. OpenAI set up a similar list recently for a professional version of ChatGPT as part of a plan to monetize the AI chatbot, an expensive operation to run for free.