Microsoft Bets Billions on OpenAI: What This Could Mean for Retail
- "AI and machine learning can greatly improve product curation and selection in the online channel, and help to replicate some of the impulse purchasing seen in stores as it works to react to the customer journey.
- As retailers continue to look at ways to incorporate first-party data into decision-making and forward-looking strategies, these tools can help embed data into organizations. This also may prove effective for retailers growing their retail media offerings.
- AI can assist in evolving the supply chain, either by finding work-arounds during delays or helping with product flow between warehouses, stores, and consumers.
- Finally, AI may help with product promotion to consumers, helping to feed consumers with promos or coupons based on behavior and retail interactions that may enhance the value of the shopping experience."
So what does this investment, and ongoing investments in AI and machine learning (ML) mean for the retail industry? RIS caught up with Elizabeth Lafontaine, chief retail analyst, Retail Leader Pro, to find out.
"Overall, machine learning and AI have the potential to solve for real-world problems within retail and greatly improve industry efficiency and the shopper experience," says Lafontaine.
A few ways that this might apply to various parts of the retail experience:
This agreement with OpenAI entails:
- Supercomputing at scale — Microsoft will increase investments in the development and deployment of specialized supercomputing systems to accelerate OpenAI’s independent AI research. It will also continue to build out Azure’s leading AI infrastructure to help customers build and deploy their AI applications on a global scale.
- New AI-powered experiences — Microsoft will deploy OpenAI’s models across its consumer and enterprise products and introduce new categories of digital experiences built on OpenAI’s technology. This includes Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service, which empowers developers to build AI applications through direct access to OpenAI models backed by Azure’s AI-optimized infrastructure and tools.
- Exclusive cloud provider — As OpenAI’s exclusive cloud provider, Azure will power all OpenAI workloads across research, products,and API services.
“The past three years of our partnership have been great,” said Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, in a blog. “Microsoft shares our values, and we are excited to continue our independent research and work toward creating advanced AI that benefits everyone.”
In pursuit of its mission to ensure advanced AI benefits all of humanity, OpenAI remains a capped-profit company and is governed by the OpenAI non-profit. This structure allows the company to raise capital without sacrificing its core beliefs about broadly sharing benefits and the need to prioritize safety, it said.
This article first appeared on the site of sister publication RIS.