In 2015, Infosys invested in the artificial intelligence company OpenAI, which recently released ChatGPT. Then-Infosys Sikka Vishal Sikka had written in a blog post in 2015.
Chat GPT appears to have taken the world by storm — journalists can’t stop marveling at its AI-generated copies, programmers rave about how it helps them write code, and entrepreneurs appear to be eager to fund any companies that want to capitalize on its potential. However, it appears that an Indian company assisted in its formation eight years ago.
In 2015, Infosys invested in the artificial intelligence company OpenAI, which recently released ChatGPT. Then-Infosys Sikka Vishal Sikka had written in a blog post in 2015, “Our wish is that together the OpenAI team will do unrestricted research in the most important, most relevant dimensions of AI, no matter how long it takes to get there, not limited to just identifying dancing cats in videos, but to creating ideas and inventions that amplify our humanity.”
Sikka stated that OpenAI’s work might be useful for Infosys. According to him, AI will increasingly shape the construction and evolution of intelligent software systems in all kinds of industries and domains, from complex machinery to consumer behavior, from medicine to energy. “Most of our work is in building and maintaining software systems,” he said. A company like Infosys, with its 1.5 lakh software engineers, would benefit from and especially contribute to OpenAI, according to Sikka.
According to Sikka, AI will fundamentally change many aspects of the work performed by a large services provider like Infosys, including services like infrastructure management, business process outsourcing, and the verification and upkeep of current software. He had previously stated that “we can massively migrate mechanizable work to automation, and instead build intelligent software systems that amplify us, our abilities, as well as those of our customers.”
Infosys was not the only company that had invested in OpenAI. Elon Musk, Y-Sam Combinator’s Altman, and several others announced OpenAI in 2015, claiming it would be a non-profit initiative to develop AI that would benefit humanity. A variety of companies and investors, including Infosys, had contributed $1 billion in funding and grants to the company. In 2019, OpenAI changed from a non-profit to a “capped” for-profit, which meant that investors could receive up to a 100x return.
The 100-time cap seems to have been justified three years later. Chat GPT-3, the leading AI chatbot from OpenAI, can write emails and letters, answer all kinds of questions, and even write code. The results are astounding, and it is nearly impossible to tell them apart from human-made artwork. Although OpenAI hasn’t yet made money off of the service, there is talk that it may do so now at a $29 billion valuation, making it one of the most valuable startups in the world right away. This will probably net Infosys a sizable payday. Still, perhaps even more importantly, it will present an opportunity to work with a business that appears to have developed the most ground-breaking new technology in recent memory.