OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is pursuing a wildly ambitious plan that could require raising up to $7 trillion to reshape the global semiconductor industry and expand AI capabilities.
The Wall Street Journal reports that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is in talks with investors, including the United Arab Emirates government, to raise massive amounts of capital for a project aimed at boosting the world’s ability to produce AI chips. The initiative could require accumulating between $5 and $7 trillion, according to sources familiar with the matter.
OpenAI boss Sam Altman (Kevin Dietsch/Getty)
The fundraising plans are intended to solve constraints to OpenAI’s growth, particularly the limited supply of graphics processing units (GPUs) needed to train large AI models like ChatGPT. Altman has complained there simply aren’t enough GPUs available to power OpenAI’s quest for artificial general intelligence.
Realizing Altman’s goals would require convincing governments, industry partners, and investors around the globe to participate. So far, Altman has met with the UAE’s Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed al Nahyan, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, and chipmakers like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).
Under the current vision, investors would provide capital to build new chip foundries that would be operated by existing manufacturers and OpenAI would be a major customer, buying large volumes of chips from the new plants. The effort would likely utilize substantial debt financing and could take years to come to fruition.
The amount of investment required would eclipse the current size of the semiconductor industry. TSMC, a potential partner, is aware of the plans and open to participation if allowed by the U.S. government, which considers domestic chip production strategically important. Altman has also discussed the idea with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, whose company relies on AI advances to drive growth. Microsoft already provides the computing power for OpenAI’s AI development.
Read more at the Wall Street Journal here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.