Cluster partner Microsoft teams up with the company behind this year's 'talking point'

- When a new technology has suddenly become a topic of conversation around the dinner table in a thousand homes, you get chills when you're in the middle of it yourself

ChatGPT has taken the world by storm since its launch in November 2022. The technology is so impressive that many experts are alarmed - but Microsoft's Norwegian team is optimistic.

The famous language assistant is developed by the company OpenAI, with strong support from the giant Microsoft. In January this year, Microsoft announced that through its third billion-dollar investment in OpenAI, it plans to introduce the technology behind ChatGPT across its consumer and enterprise products and introduce new categories of digital experiences.

- "We renewed this partnership because we have a shared ambition to accelerate the development of artificial intelligence, and to do this in a responsible way that democratizes artificial intelligence as a new technology platform," comments Jon Jahren, Director Azure Cloud & AI at Microsoft Norway. The company is a member of the Cluster for Applied AI.

Jon Jahren is Director of Azure Cloud & AI in Microsoft Norway. PHOTO: Private

In the long term, OpenAI's artificial intelligence can be built into several of Microsoft's products, such as Word, PowerPoint and Outlook. In addition, Microsoft is in the process of implementing ChatGPT in its search engine Bing, which could seriously challenge Google's position in this area.

Like communicating with a human being

In simple terms, ChatGPT is a language model that makes you feel like you are communicating with a human, not a machine. Jahren believes it has become a "talking point" among both experts and the general public precisely because no other artificial intelligence (AI) model has so far been as good as ChatGPT at understanding and generating text.

- ChatGPT has proven to be a great way to demonstrate the usefulness of such language models to a wide audience. Here, new user groups can immediately increase productivity, acquire new knowledge, or express their creativity," he points out.

On Tuesday, March 14, the latest version of the language model was launched, called GPT-4. This is the most powerful model to date and can solve more difficult tasks with better precision than its predecessor, GPT-3. In addition, GPT-4 produces more user-friendly answers.

Experts call for a pause in development

The performance of the latest version of ChatGPT is simply so impressive that more than 500 of the most influential technology experts in the world have signed a letter of concern to OpenAI and its peers asking them to pause the development of the AI technology until adequate security measures are in place. In this regard, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has confirmed that they have not yet started training GPT-5.

Jon Jahren believes the world has only seen a taste of what is to come through ChatGPT. That's why Microsoft is also concerned that developments in artificial intelligence take place in a responsible way.

- Our strategy in this area has not come overnight. There have been decades of research from Microsoft and across the industry. We believe AI has the potential to solve some of humanity's biggest problems, helping people become more creative and more productive," says Jahren.

He adds:

- We should move forward with hope for innovation and optimism, while holding ourselves accountable to do so in a safe way for all those affected by this.

Artificial intelligence in the future

Although development has been very rapid in recent years and language models such as ChatGPT both amaze and frighten, Microsoft's Norwegian cloud director sees no reason to demonize the situation.

During the AI+ 2023 conference in early May, Jon Jahren (second from left) was a speaker and panelist. PHOTO: Stein Johnsen

- Artificial intelligence has the potential to dramatically improve how people create, work and communicate. "Since Microsoft's founding vision is to help people solve real-world challenges and achieve more, it's only natural that AI will be an important technology for us," he emphasizes.

Jahren admits that both he and his colleagues were taken aback by the breadth of ChatGPT's reach and the engagement the technology has generated.

- When a new technology has suddenly become a topic of conversation around the dinner table in a thousand homes, you get chills when you are in the middle of it yourself. Developments in artificial intelligence have been fairly steady for decades, but we expect a "boost" both in adoption by existing customers and in startup environments like the one Smart Innovation Norway represents. A lot will happen here in the years to come!

See what Jon Jahren had to say about developments in artificial intelligence when he visited AI+ 2023: