Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most exciting and impactful technologies of our time. It has the potential to transform various domains and industries, from healthcare to education, from entertainment to business. However, developing and using AI also comes with many challenges and risks, such as data privacy, security, reliability, and ethical implications. That’s why it’s important to choose the right service and platform for your AI needs and goals.
In this article, we will compare the two services for accessing advanced AI models: Azure OpenAI Service and OpenAI. Both services are powered by OpenAI, a research laboratory that develops and publishes new AI models, such as GPT-4, GPT-3, Codex, and DALL-E. However, they also have some key differences in terms of features, capabilities, access, pricing, and more. We will explore these differences and help you decide which service is best for you.
What is Azure OpenAI Service?
Azure OpenAI Service is a service provided by Microsoft Azure that lets you access OpenAI's powerful language models, like GPT-4, GPT-3, Codex, and Embeddings. You can use this service through REST APIs, Python SDK, or a web-based interface called Azure OpenAI Studio. These models are really smart and can help with tasks like generating content, summarizing information, searching for meanings in the text, and even translating natural language into code.
The Azure OpenAI Service is designed to be super reliable, secure, and available worldwide. It's built for enterprise-level usage, meaning it can handle big-scale operations and protect your data.
Microsoft and OpenAI have been working together for four years to make AI accessible to everyone and bring widespread economic benefits. They believe in democratizing AI, which means making it available to people from all walks of life.
What is OpenAI API?
The OpenAI API is a way to access advanced AI models created by OpenAI, like GPT-4, GPT-3, Codex, and DALL-E. These models are really good at understanding and working with human language and code.
To use the OpenAI API, you can connect through the Azure OpenAI service. This service offers different ways to interact with the API, such as REST APIs, a Python SDK, and a web-based interface. To make sure only authorized users access the API, you need API keys for authentication.
With the OpenAI API, you can do some cool things! For example, you can use it to generate and edit images or convert spoken words into written text. There are different models available with varying capabilities and prices. You can even fine-tune your own models to better suit your specific needs. Plus, there's a web-based interface that allows you to experiment and play around with the models.
Consider the below table which will summarize the model's availability in both services:
Azure OpenAI Service
A large multimodal model that can understand and generate natural language or code, and perform complex tasks with greater accuracy than any previous model.
A set of models that improve on GPT-3 and can understand and generate natural language or code.
A model that can generate and execute code for a wide range of programming languages and tasks.
A model that can generate and edit images given a natural language prompt.
A model that can convert audio into text.
A set of models that can convert text into a numerical form.
A fine-tuned model that can detect whether text may be sensitive or unsafe.
A set of models that can understand and generate natural language.
The difference: Azure OpenAI vs OpenAI
Here we have some differences between both the services:
A service provided by Microsoft Azure that co-develops the API's with OpenAI.
A research laboratory that develops and publishes new AI Models.
Supports the latest GPT-4 models, which are currently in preview.
Supports the GPT-4 models but you require ChatGPT plus subscription to access the models.
Provides enterprise-grade security features such as encryption, authentication and role-based access control.
Provides basic security features such as API key and content filtering.
VNET and private endpoint support
Supports virtual network and private endpoint integration as part of Azure Cognitive Services.
Does not support virtual network and private endpoint integration
Access is limited and requires an application process that evaluates the use cases and responsible AI principles
Access is open and requires a subscription plan that varies by model and usage
Provides documentation, tutorials, examples, and best practices for using the service
Provides documentation, playgrounds, examples, and blog posts for using the service
Provides support options through Azure Cognitive Services support guide
Provides support options through OpenAI platform support guide
Fine-tuned Model creation
Allows fine-tuning of some models to customise them for specific tasks
Allows fine-tuning of some models to customise them for specific task
Pricing for ChatGPT
ChatGPT is not available in Azure OpenAI service
ChatGPT is available in OpenAI service with a subscription plan of $20 per month for ChatGPT Plus program
Prompt and completion for ChatGPT
ChatGPT is not available in Azure OpenAI service
ChatGPT is available in OpenAI service with a web-based interface that allows users to interact with the model by providing prompts and receiving completions
Which is the best: Azure OpenAI Service or OpenAI
There is no definitive answer to which service is best, as it depends on your use case, preferences, and requirements. However, some possible factors to consider are:
Azure OpenAI provides enterprise-grade security and reliability features, such as encryption, authentication, role-based access control, virtual network support, and global availability. If you need these features for your use case, Azure OpenAI may be a better choice.
OpenAI provides more models and features, such as ChatGPT, image generation, speech-to-text, and playgrounds. If you want to experiment with these models and features, OpenAI may be a better choice.
Azure OpenAI requires an application process that evaluates the use cases and responsible AI principles. If you have a well-defined and low-risk use case that incorporates responsible AI strategies, you may be able to access Azure OpenAI. Otherwise, you may face difficulties or delays in getting access.
OpenAI requires a subscription plan that varies by model and usage. If you have a budget and a plan for how much you want to use the service, you may be able to afford OpenAI. Otherwise, you may face unexpected costs or limits in using the service.
Ultimately, the best service for you is the one that meets your needs and expectations. You can compare the services based on their documentation, examples, and best practices to make an informed decision.