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Microsoft looks for AI investments beyond OpenAI, partners with Sam Altman’s rivals Mistral

Microsoft and Mistral AI have joined forces to bring the French startup’s AI models to the masses through Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform.

This partnership, announced on Monday, highlights Microsoft’s commitment to diversifying its AI offerings beyond its partnership with OpenAI, aiming to broaden its appeal to Azure cloud service users.

Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Microsoft will not only make Mistral AI’s AI models accessible to Azure customers,. Still, it will also acquire a minority stake in the Paris-based startup, although specific financial details were not disclosed.

Mistral AI specializes in developing open-source and proprietary large language models (LLMs) akin to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which can comprehend and generate text reminiscent of human conversation.

One of Mistral AI’s recent advancements, the Mistral Large model, will debut exclusively on Azure through this collaboration. This means Azure users will gain access to a suite of AI models developed by Mistral AI, all hosted on Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure.

While this partnership marks a significant milestone for Mistral AI, the startup has also been actively collaborating with other tech giants like Amazon and Google to distribute its models. According to a spokesperson from Mistral AI, the company plans to expand its availability to other cloud platforms in the coming months.

Mistral AI was founded by Timothee Lacroix and Guillaume Lample, who previously contributed to Meta’s AI initiatives, alongside Arthur Mensch, a former researcher at Google’s DeepMind.

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