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January 18, 2023updated 16 Feb 2023 10:46pm

Which companies have partnered with OpenAI?

The self-styled AI research laboratory has cemented some lucrative friendships with major corporations in recent years.

By Silvia Pellegrino

OpenAI is an artificial intelligence (AI) research and development company which exploded into the mainstream in late 2022. 

The main financiers of the ambitious project are Microsoft, the Reid Hoffman Foundation, and Khosla Ventures. Now, OpenAI is being incorporated into everyday operations by an increasing number of companies.

Elon Musk and Sam Altman founded the company in 2015, based in San Francisco, California. However, Musk left in 2018. 

Because of OpenAI’s long-term emphasis on basic developments in AI and its potential, several companies have chosen to invest in it. Here are the most significant companies currently collaborating with OpenAI.


Microsoft’s relationship with OpenAI began in 2019 when it invested $1bn into the AI development company to develop new capabilities for its Azure cloud service and long-term research goals. Another $2bn was invested by Microsoft in OpenAI over the next three years.

The two firms would go on to collaborate in the development of what Microsoft described as the ‘world’s first cloud-based AI supercomputer,’ for use in training deep learning models, among other tasks. OpenAI has also relied heavily on Microsoft Azure servers to host products and services like Copilot, GitHub and, most famously, ChatGPT. The Redmond-based tech giant has courted legal controversy for doing so. Shortly after the release of Copilot, an AI assistant for coders trained on code samples publicly available on GitHub, Microsoft, GitHub and OpenAI were sued over a potential breach of copyright. 

Microsoft recently announced its incorporation of ChatGPT into its Bing search engine, enabling it to develop and write down replies to queries rather than just presenting a list of links. Microsoft has also announced that it aims to implement OpenAI in its consumer products. For instance, it is probable that Microsoft will be integrating AI technology into Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook, according to The Information.


Shutterstock began collaborating with OpenAI in 2021 when the latter started using the former’s image library to train what would later become its DALL-E generator. Shutterstock has specified that all AI-generated content will be published on its site in a transparent manner in the interests of creators and consumers, including disclosing when generative AI was used in the creation of an image and establishing a contributor fund to pay creators when it uses their work to train AI models. 

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Shutterstock has also announced its intention to incorporate OpenAI’s DALL-E-2 image-generating engine on its platform. Although there is no set timetable for this integration, the press release states that it will take place later this year. “This expert-level competency,” said Paul Hennessy, Shutterstock’s CEO, “makes Shutterstock the ideal partner to help the creative community navigate this new technology”.


BuzzFeed, too, has joined the OpenAI movement. As one of the most famous websites in the world, it announced in January that it will start introducing OpenAI in its main content, mostly to elevate its quizzes, but also to produce original material. 

New tests powered by AI will produce tailored findings, claimed CEO Jonah Peretti. While individuals are responsible for providing ideas, AI will be in charge of facilitating parts of the creative process at Buzzfeed, as well as enhancing the company’s content. In 15 years, according to Peretti, data and AI will be utilised to create, tailor, and animate content.

News that Buzzfeed would be incorporating generative AI into its content production processes contributed to a spike in its stock price. When asked by The Verge to comment on whether Buzzfeed would ever use generative AI to help write news content, vice-president of communications Matt Mittenthal replied that it would not. He then added, a little ominously, that he could “confirm that we’ll be using OpenAI technology” in a capacity that remains undefined.  

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