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Microsoft unveils MAI-1: A new AI model competing with Google and OpenAI

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MAI-1

Microsoft is stepping up its AI game with its latest in-house AI language model, MAI-1, poised to rival the offerings of tech giants Alphabet’s Google and OpenAI.

MAI-1 is reportedly set to be significantly larger than Microsoft’s previous open-source models, providing higher-end AI capabilities. Spearheading this endeavor is Mustafa Suleyman, CEO of Microsoft AI, who joined Microsoft in March to lead the newly formed consumer AI unit. Before this, Suleyman served as the co-founder of Google DeepMind and AI startup Inflection.

With a parameter count of 500 billion, MAI-1 is positioned as a midrange option, bridging the gap between GPT-3 and the upcoming ChatGPT-4. This scale promises enhanced response accuracy while optimizing power consumption, offering a competitive edge in the AI landscape.

To bolster its AI infrastructure, Microsoft has invested heavily in server clusters equipped with Nvidia’s graphic processing units, along with vast datasets to refine MAI-1’s performance. This strategic investment reflects Microsoft’s dedication to remaining at the forefront of generative AI innovation.

In alignment with its forward-looking strategy, Microsoft has identified three key AI trends for 2024: the rise of small language models, the integration of multimodal AI, and AI applications in science. The recent launch of Phi-3-mini, a small AI model, reflects Microsoft’s commitment to democratizing AI by offering cost-effective solutions to a broader clientele.

“Small language models can make AI more accessible due to their size and affordability,” says Sebastien Bubeck, who leads the Machine Learning Foundations group at Microsoft Research. “At the same time, we’re discovering new ways to make them as powerful as large language models.”

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s foray into multimodal AI is evident in products like Microsoft Designer, a graphic design application capable of generating images from textual descriptions, and custom neural voices designed to enhance inclusivity for individuals with vocal disabilities.

As Microsoft continues to innovate, the convergence of AI and diverse applications promises to reshape industries and enhance user experiences worldwide.

Read next: Microsoft accelerates AI innovation; partners with OpenAI rival Mistral AI

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