To further its artificial intelligence initiatives, Microsoft has made an undisclosed investment in Builder.ai, a startup that enables businesses to create applications without the need for coding expertise.
Builder.ai, a London-based firm founded in 2017, is one of many companies in this space that focus on creating “no-code” and “low-code” environments. Its platform makes it possible for anybody, from tech-averse artists who want to sell their work online to design pros who have no experience with programming, to create and administer apps.
Microsoft’s Teams video and chat software will soon feature Builder.ai’s own artificial intelligence (AI) assistant Natasha thanks to a new agreement between the two companies. According to the business, Builder.ai will use Microsoft’s AI algorithms to give Natasha a more human voice.
Builder.ai and its customers will have access to Microsoft’s Azure cloud capabilities, including the AI services Microsoft provides through its partnership with the American startup OpenAI. It was also mentioned that Builder.ai’s knowledge base would be available to Azure developers.
“We’re all convinced that the future of software is going to be where the customer doesn’t need to be technical,” Duggal told CNBC. To put it another way, “What we’re really doing is bringing together a world where customers are able to build software, run software, and host software.”
“For Microsoft, it opens up not only a new digital-native customer but also someone coming on to the Azure Cloud, where that software construction is leveraging fundamental elements of the Microsoft stack, as well as the Builder stack. From that angle, it seems to me that the approach is comprehensive. To power the next 100 million software applications is the ultimate goal.
Jon Tinter Says
Microsoft’s VP of business development, Jon Tinter, called the agreement “an extension of our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
According to Tinter, “Our new, deeper collaboration powered by Azure AI will bring the combined power of both companies to businesses around the world, and we see Builder.ai creating an entirely new category that empowers everyone to be a developer.”
Both Builder.ai and Microsoft said they were not comfortable discussing the terms of the agreement publicly.
Microsoft has recently increased its AI spending dramatically, with an estimated $13 billion going to OpenAI (the creators of the popular AI chatbot ChatGPT), and the company’s AI language processing software being integrated into Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Office productivity programs.
The acquisition is part of Microsoft’s larger strategy to increase its focus on artificial intelligence (AI) in an effort to catch up to industry leader Google and challenge it in the search market.
The Alphabet-owned firm has made its own AI investments, including developing the LaMDA language processing model to make digital entities more conversational and humanlike and releasing a competitor to ChatGPT called Bard.
Microsoft’s own set of no-code app development tools is already available. It hopes to increase its knowledge in this field with the help of Builder.ai.
Builder.ai, according to Duggal, will benefit greatly from the support of the world’s second-most valuable technology business.
The speaker said, “If you imagine we’re going to go speak to big enterprise… who’s going to ask us about competency at that point?” It was reported by CNBC that Duggal had said. According to one expert, “It gives you a huge leverage from going to market [strategy], which in itself benefits both partners.”
According to Crunchbase, Builder.ai has successfully raised $195,000,000 to date. There has been a recent uptick in investor enthusiasm for artificial intelligence-related firms, and theirs is just one example.
However, some experts are worried that the technology is becoming too advanced. In an open letter published in March, a collection of prominent tech figures including Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called for a six-month ban on the creation of artificial intelligence stronger than GPT-4, OpenAI’s most recent large language model.
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Microsoft’s Bing AI chatbot makes use of OpenAI’s GPT-4 technology. Because GPT-4 is a generative AI model, it may be taught using data, after which it will generate answers in natural language.