Chat GPT looks to have taken the world by storm — journalists can’t stop marvelling at its AI-generated copy, programmers rave about how it helps them write code, and capitalists appear to be eager to finance any startups that wish to capitalise on its potential. However, it appears that an Indian corporation assisted in its formation eight years ago. Back in 2015, Infosys invested in the Artificial Intelligence firm OpenAI, which produced ChatGPT. “Our objective is that the OpenAI team would perform unrestricted research in the most significant, most relevant areas of AI, no matter how long it takes, not limited to only spotting dancing cats in movies,” then-Infosys Sikka Vishal Sikka wrote in a blogpost in 2015.
Sikka stated that OpenAI’s efforts may assist Infosys. “The majority of our work is in the development and maintenance of software systems, and AI will progressively affect the development and evolution of intelligent software systems across a wide range of disciplines and sectors, from sophisticated machinery to consumer behaviour, from medicine to energy,” he added. Sikka stated that a company like Infosys, with 1.5 lakh software developers, will be a unique benefactor and contributor to OpenAI.
Sikka stated that AI would fundamentally disrupt several aspects of a major services organisation like Infosys’ operations, including infrastructure management, business process outsourcing, and verification and maintenance of current software. “We can significantly automate mechanizable jobs and instead construct intelligent software systems that magnify ourselves, our talents, and those of our clients,” he had previously stated.
Infosys was not the only company that has invested in OpenAI. Elon Musk, Y-Sam Combinator’s Altman, and numerous others unveiled OpenAI in 2015, claiming it would be a non-profit venture aimed at developing AI that will benefit mankind as a whole. A variety of corporations and investors, including Infosys, have contributed $1 billion in investment and grants to the company. In 2019, OpenAI changed from a non-profit to a “capped” for profit, which meant that investors may get up to a 100x return on their investment.
Three years later, it appears that the 100-times limit was justified. Chat GPT-3, OpenAI’s flagship AI chatbot, can compose letters and emails, answer inquiries about anything, and even create programming. The results are astounding, and virtually hard to distinguish from human-created artwork. While OpenAI has yet to monetise the service, there is speculation that it may potentially seek funds at a $29 billion value, instantly making it one of the world’s most valuable firms. This would most certainly result in a large payout for Infosys, as well as the opportunity to work with a business that appears to have created the most breakthrough new technology in recent decades.