Microsoft partners with Vodafone on generative AI integration

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Microsoft and the telecommunications group Vodafone to provide generative AI integrations with Microsoft Azure OpenAI and Copilot.

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Microsoft partners with Vodafone on generative AI integration

Microsoft and the British telecommunications company Vodafone announced a new 10-year strategic partnership which will include the integration of generative artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, among other things. 

On Jan. 17 the companies revealed that Vodafone will invest $1.5 billion over the next 10 years in cloud and “customer-focused AI services” that were developed with Microsoft, while Microsoft will leverage Vodafone’s fixed and mobile connectivity services.

The generative AI component of the deal aims to transform Vodafone’s customer experience through Microsoft’s generative AI tools. Microsoft Azure OpenAI will be implemented across all Vodafone customer touchpoints, including TOBi the digital assistant that is available in 13 of its service countries.

Employees of the telecom giant will also have access to Microsoft’s AI tool Copilot to “transform working practices, boost productivity and improve digital efficiency.”

Satya Nadella, the chairman and CEO of Microsoft, said the company is “delighted” to apply the latest cloud and AI tech to help enhance the customer experience of Vodafone’s hundreds of millions of clients across Africa and Europe.

“This new generation of AI will unlock massive new opportunities for every organization and every industry around the world.”

Vodafone said the AI integrations will be built on “unbiased and ethical privacy and security policies” under its established framework for responsible AI. Cointelegraph has reached out to Vodafone for additional comment on the development.

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In addition to the AI integration, the partnership also aims to hyperscale Vodafone’s Internet of Things (IoT) connective platform and develop new digital and financial services – particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe and Africa. 

This comes a few days after Microsoft launched its pro version of Copilot on Jan. 15. The paid version will cost customers $20 per month and bring “business-level” functionality to all users including custom GPTs and Office integration.

On Jan. 16 Nadella spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland calling the company’s partnership with OpenAI a “no-brainer” and that the partnership brings healthy competition in the AI space.

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