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Potentially a big week for Microsoft’s AI aspirations

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Potentially a big week for Microsoft’s AI aspirations

Vall-e has chopped its learning time to 3 seconds, and Microsoft might be near big stake in Open AI.

Microsoft has wowed some in the community with its updated text-to-speech model, Vall-e. It reportedly would also like to invest $10 billion, 10 times its initial placement in 2019, in OpenAI.

Editors of Singapore-based trade publication Metaverse Post have analyzed Vall-e‘s latest voice abilities and declared it “an important step forward in text-to-speech sophistication.”

A transformer-based model, Vall-e creates a like voice after hearing just three seconds of the original.

Much of the coverage of the development is hyperbolic, claiming the algorithm can imitate anyone’s voice. But if the three examples volunteered by Microsoft and published by the Post are any indication, there the company needs more runway for Vall-e. It still sounds mechanical.

The bigger news might be Microsoft’s desired stake in OpenAI, which owns ChatGPT. If executives get the terms they want, Open AI would be valued at almost $30 billion, including the new investment.

Independent business news publication Semafor claims to have uncovered some details. It is not known if Microsoft is making a direct placement or doing it through its corporate venture capital unit, M12. The company has private and growth equity funds, too.

In October, trade publication The Information, citing anonymous sources, first broke the news.

The editors’ conjecture was that Microsoft’s prime motives could be walling off Open AI and increasing Azure’s market presence. In Microsoft’s original, $1 billion investment in the startup, Open AI was given credits to use the cloud service.

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