Microsoft Preps Azure OpenAI for GPT-4

A preview of GPT-4 support in Microsoft's Azure OpenAI service is now available, Microsoft announced this week.    

The Azure OpenAI service was released this past January. The new preview of GPT-4 will let organizations use this large language model with their applications to build things like bots and virtual assistants that can deliver natural language responses to queries.

Existing Azure OpenAI service users will need to apply to use the preview of GPT-4.

Possibly the use of the preview is free, but billing for GPT-4 will start on April 1, 2023. GPT-4 costs will be priced per 1,000 tokens, as used in prompts and in the completions of queries.

Azure OpenAI GPT-4 users have to comply with Microsoft's "Code of Conduct" to use the service, and they will have to say what their use case will be at the initial preview sign-up stage. The GPT-4 model, though, is considered by Microsoft to be less likely than its preceding models to surface embarrassing results for the organizations using it.

"Guided by human feedback, safety is built directly into the GPT-4 model, which enables the model to be more effective at handling harmful inputs, thereby reducing the likelihood that the model will generate a harmful response," the announcement stated.

Microsoft explained in another announcement that the OpenAI ChatGPT models that get used with the Azure OpenAI service will change at a somewhat rapid pace. These models will be versioned. Developers will have to keep track of the deprecated models and update their applications to use newer versions.

For instance, ChatGPT models released in March will be deprecated in August. Here's how the announcement characterized the ChatGPT versioning and deprecations:

The "0301" version of the ChatGPT model and the "0314" versions of the GPT-4 models will be deprecated on August 1st, 2023 in favor of newer versions. You can find the deprecation times for models on our Models page and via our Models API.

Microsoft recommends using a "new Chat playground in the Azure OpenAI Studio" to get started with these AI models for use with the Azure OpenAI service. Microsoft also announced a "Chat Completions API (preview)," which lets apps pass prompts as "an array of messages instead of as a single string."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.