Microsoft has announced a multi-year, multibillion-dollar investment in artificial intelligence (AI) as part of an expansion of its cooperation with OpenAI.
OpenAI is the developer of the popular picture-generating programme Dall-E as well as the chatbot ChatGPT.
In 2019 Microsoft invested $1bn (£808m) in the firm, created by Elon Musk and tech investor Sam Altman.
The Windows and Xbox creator planned up to 10,000 layoffs but said it will still employ in important essential areas.
In a note to employees last week, CEO Satya Nadella announced: "The next great wave of computing is being born, with developments in AI."
In announcing the expanded relationship, the company stated that it believes AI will have an "effect on the scale of the personal computer, the internet, mobile devices, and the cloud."
ChatGPT from OpenAI is capable of providing convincingly human replies to enquiries.
Concern over the possible misuse of the technology, from helping students cheat in exams to developing malware, has gone hand in hand with assertions that it can alter several industries, including search.
Microsoft controls the Bing search engine, and while it falls behind Google in popularity, some argue that ChatGPT offers a danger to the industry leader.
The New York Times stated it has caused Google to declare a "code red" on fears it may enable competitors to eat into the firm's $149bn search business.
Google has already held back from releasing several AI systems for public usage.
The company has claimed "ethical problems" for not disclosing Imagen, their picture-generating system.
Researchers claimed there was a possibility the system, which is trained on data collected from the web, may develop "harmful prejudices and representations".
Microsoft is dedicated to "creating trustworthy and safe AI systems and products."
It stated that OpenAI's technology will be used "across our consumer and corporate offerings."
In addition to ChatGPT, the company creates Dall-E, which makes pictures in response to basic text directions, and GitHub Copilot, which utilises AI to assist in writing computer code.
Microsoft stated that its Azure cloud computing platform will continue to support OpenAI.
Previous rumours had stated Microsoft was considering investing an extra $10bn in OpenAI, but the company's announcement did not place a figure on the magnitude of its commitment.
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