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Microsoft outlines ‘AI access principles’ to counter OpenAI competition.

After investing and partnering with French Large Language Model firm Mistral AI, Microsoft continues to strive to dispel the notion that it’s stifling competition via its extensive collaboration (and financial ownership) in OpenAI. Microsoft announced its eleven-point “AI Access Principles” framework today to “govern how we will operate our AI datacenter infrastructure and other important AI assets around the world.”

The points include developing and operating an app marketplace to let companies choose LLMs and other AI products and keeping private data out of training models. The agreement also allows clients to switch cloud providers or services. It also emphasizes cybersecurity surrounding AI services, green data centers, infrastructure construction, and education spending.

Microsoft president and vice chair Brad Smith introduced the framework today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The inference is that Microsoft is willing to engage with stakeholders, but Smith announced the announcement in a keynote address with no time for questions.

Microsoft is under increased regulatory scrutiny for its $13 billion investment in OpenAI, which gives it 49% ownership in the business, paving the way for generative AI services worldwide. The European competition agency said it was reviewing the investment’s antitrust compliance in January.

The focus is on how third parties can use Microsoft’s platforms and services to develop AI products, a critical business area and enterprise service that Microsoft hopes to develop in the coming years with carriers and other businesses and organizations.

“If they are training a model on our infrastructure or deploying it on our infrastructure, we recognize that their data is their data and will not use it to compete with the companies that are relying on our infrastructure,” Smith said.

These AI Access Principles are not binding standards for Microsoft and do not specify how any of the promises may be verified or monitored, but they serve a function in anticipation of that. Any formal regulatory probe will likely be used by the corporation to claim that it is taking proactive steps to guarantee market competition.

Smith said that approximately 1600 models, including 1500 open source models, are operating in their data centers, demonstrating their commitment to both proprietary and open source models for enterprises of all sizes.

However, bringing them out publicly makes the values a reference point for the public, Microsoft’s rivals, and regulators if they think Microsoft has fallen short.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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