“…why this is news”: Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott on report of in-house AI models

Microsoft is reportedly developing an internal AI language models to rival those offered by competitors. Notably, this model will also compete with the one developed by OpenAI, a company Microsoft has significantly invested in (over $10 billion). However, Microsoft’s CTO, Kevin Scottexpressed confusion about why this is considered news.
In a post on LinkedInhe explained that Microsoft builds powerful computers to train AI models, and OpenAI, a partner, also uses these machines to develop cutting-edge models. As per Scott, both companies aim to integrate these models into products and services for wider public benefit – an arrangement that both companies will like.
Here’s Scott’s post on LinkedIn
I’m not sure why this is news, but just to summarize the obvious: we build big supercomputers to train AI models; our partner Open AI uses these supercomputers to train frontier-defining models; and then we both make these models available in products and services so that lots of people can benefit from them. We rather like this arrangement. We’ve been at it for almost five years now. Each supercomputer we built for Open AI is a lot bigger than the one that preceded it, and each frontier model they trained is a lot more powerful than its predecessors. We will continue to be on this path–building increasingly powerful supercomputers for Open AI to train the models that will set the pace for the entire field–well into the future. There’s no end in sight to the increasing impact that our work together will have.
We also, for years and years and years, have built AI models in MSR and in our product groups. AI models turn out to be interesting things to work on, and our researchers do great work studying and building them. AI models are used in almost every one of our products, services, and operating processes at Microsoft, and the teams making and operating things on occasion need to do their own custom work, whether that’s training a model from scratch, or fine tuning a model that someone else has built. There will be more of this in the future too. Some of these models have names like Turing, and MAI. Some, like Phi for example, we even open source.
I know the way I’ve said it isn’t all that dramatic, but it is reality. And it’s a plenty exciting reality for all us geeks given how hard all of this is to do in practice.
A report by The Information said that Microsoft’s AI model – called MAI-1 – is being developed by the company’s newly-formed team led by Mustafa Suleymanan ex-Googler who joined as CEO of Microsoft AI unit from Inflection AI earlier this year.