Microsoft invests $16 million in Mistral AI that rivals OpenAI

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Key notes

  • Microsoft is making a $16 million investment in Mistral AI.
  • Mistral AI is a French AI startup that recently released a new large language model to rival OpenAI.
  • As part of the deal, Mistral AI’s tools will be available for  Azure customers.

When making investments in the AI space, it looks like Microsoft wants to ensure that it doesn’t put all its eggs in one basket. The software giant has officially entered a distribution partnership with Mistral AI, a French AI start-up that rivals OpenAI. As part of the partnership, Microsoft is investing €15 ($16 million) million in Mistral AI.

Mistral AI launched its new large language model called Mistral Large to rival OpenAI’s GPT alongside entering a distribution partnership with Microsoft. Interestingly, however, the news was kept under wraps until today. The investment comes at a time when the EU and the UK regulators have put Microsoft’s investment into OpenAI under scrutiny.

Microsoft’s investment into Mistral AI will benefit the Azure customers, as the startup’s large language model will be available to them without any additional costs. So, besides OpenAI’s models and Meta’s Llama models, Azure customers will also be able to access Mistral AI’s tools. On the other hand, Mistral AI will attract more customers through Azure, benefiting both companies.

If you’re a developer, you’ll have to access Mistral AI’s GPT competitor through its own API platform. That’s because it’s not open source, unlike the company’s previous AI models. That said, this partnership hasn’t managed to escape the European Commission’s attention, either. In a statement to TechCrunch, a spokesperson said that EC would analyze the investment deal between Microsoft and Mistral AI. EC is currently scrutinizing big-tech companies’ AI tie-ups.

More about the topics: GPT, microsoft, Mistral AI