Artificial Intelligence | October 13, 2023
Almost unnoticed, artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly present in various aspects of our lives. From using ChatGPT for answering specific questions to AI systems integrated into our household appliances, our use of AI has become commonplace. However, we rarely inquire about its cost, even though it’s evident that the more advanced it becomes, the more expensive it gets. Here’s the spectacular amount of money Microsoft would be losing every month due to its AI Copilot.
According to information from the US newspaper ‘The Wall Street Journal,’ the company has been losing over $20 per month per user of GitHub Copilot, its AI-based programming tool for developers, in the early months of the year. This information is attributed to an unidentified source claiming to have firsthand knowledge of the company’s finances. The estimate could even be higher, reaching up to $80 per month in some specific cases, as the cost depends on how extensively the tool is used. The current prices for GitHub Copilot, which was launched in 2022, range from $8.33 to $10 per month depending on the chosen subscription type, although some students may use it for free.
GitHub Copilot is a collaborative project between Microsoft, GitHub itself, and OpenAI, although the specific investment made by each member of the alliance in this AI tool is not specified. Nevertheless, it is estimated to have nearly 1.5 million users, so the monthly losses incurred by GitHub Copilot would exceed $30 million (over 28 million euros at the current exchange rate).
The integration of AI-based services into Microsoft’s various products continues, and it was recently announced that the AI assistant Copilot will become much more visible and prominent for users in the latest Windows 11 update. It will also be integrated into Microsoft’s office and email services to facilitate daily routine tasks for all Windows users. These improvements are free for individuals, but not for businesses.
Last September, Microsoft also announced that Microsoft 365 Copilot would be available as a paid service for businesses starting from November 1st, with a cost of $30 per month. With this fee, Microsoft expects to partly offset the economic impact of its ongoing investment in artificial intelligence, which has already cost the company several billion dollars since it announced its collaboration with OpenAI, the developer of ChatGPT and DALL-E.
Microsoft, which also provides free AI services through the Bing search engine, such as Bing Chat or its image creator, is starting to focus on potential ways to reduce the cost of AI. To achieve this, it is developing its own AI processors and exploring ways for new computers to perform basic AI tasks locally, rather than relying on the cloud to generate text or images, as is currently the case.