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Microsoft integrates ChatGPT into Azure; GPT-4 expected soon

The AI assistant is now a part of Azure managed services, and developers are able to integrate it into applications. Meanwhile, OpenAI is expected to release GPT-4 this week.

With news that GPT-4 could drop this week, Microsoft continues integrating ChatGPT into all its services.

On March 9, the technology giant revealed that the AI assistant built by OpenAI is now available in preview in Azure OpenAI Service. The new integration of ChatGPT in preview in Azure OpenAI Service enables developers to integrate AI-powered experiences in their applications.

It also follows Microsoft's earlier integration of the AI assistant into apps such as Teams and Copilot.

Microsoft's motives

By integrating ChatGPT into all these apps, Microsoft is making the commercialization of the AI assistant easier, said William McKeon-White, an analyst at Forrester Research.

This helps OpenAI use Microsoft as an intermediary that helps manage business partnerships.

"I know OpenAI has been intermittently down because they're just so popular, and I don't think they were ready for or expecting the success that they had," McKeon-White said. "Having Microsoft acting as an intermediator ... is a step in the right direction."

The integration also gives enterprises a level of confidence that they might otherwise not have had.

"This is the direction needed to enable enterprise use," said Bern Elliot, an analyst at Gartner. He added that it will assure enterprises that the same level of enterprise-grade privacy, security, confidentiality and compliance available for other Azure products is now available for Azure OpenAI's ChatGPT.

However, Microsoft will still need to prove itself to enterprises.

"Saying you are compliant is different than showing technical leadership what you are doing to deliver that level of compliance," Elliot said. "Their communications around ChatGPT so far have been more hype than substance. They will need to deliver that substance to maintain their momentum."

Microsoft is moving ahead to radically transform every single line of business they're doing and to reintroduce competition into new markets.
William McKeon-WhiteAnalyst, Forrester Research

Microsoft's quick movement in the generative AI market and integration of ChatGPT into all its app is an attempt to capitalize on what the technology can do, McKeon-White said.

"While Google and others have been working on getting their own models working and getting it tuned and appropriate for usage, Microsoft is moving ahead to radically transform every single line of business they're doing and to reintroduce competition into new markets," he said.

For example, Microsoft's integration of ChatGPT into Skype allows it to compete with the likes of WhatsApp, McKeon-White expanded.

GPT-4 this week?

Microsoft's integration of ChatGPT into Azure OpenAI Service also comes after Microsoft Germany CTO Andreas Braun reportedly mentioned during an event in Germany that GPT-4 will be released this week.

Multiple news outlets reported that the system will include multimodal AI capabilities, including AI-generated videos.

"It will be very interesting to see what the explosive improvements are just because GPT-3.5 is bordering every area," McKeon-White said. "They will likely continue to improve recognition and the like, and hone in on the general capabilities."

In response to TechTarget Editorial's request for comment, an OpenAI representative said: "OpenAI has not announced timing for GPT-4, and we have no comment to share."

Esther Ajao is a news writer covering artificial intelligence software and systems.

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