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OpenAI CEO Sam Altman Pursues Trillions in Funding for Semiconductor Development

Sam Altman, the CEO of the artificial intelligence (AI) developer OpenAI, is reportedly engaging with investors globally to secure trillions of pounds for the development of semiconductor chips.

As per a report by The Wall Street Journal on 8th February, Altman’s endeavour would necessitate fundraising in the range of £5–7 trillion.

Sources close to OpenAI indicate that these funds would alleviate the company’s scaling limitations and address the scarcity and expense of chips crucial for advancing high-level AI systems.

Altman has purportedly been advocating for collaborations between OpenAI and “various investors,” chip manufacturers, and energy suppliers, expressing OpenAI’s willingness to become a “significant customer” of new factories.

An OpenAI spokesperson remarked:

“OpenAI has had productive discussions about increasing global infrastructure and supply chains for chips, energy, and data centres — which are crucial for AI and other industries that rely on them.”

Altman recently conferred with the United States Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to deliberate on the initiative, recognising the necessity for involvement from patrons, industry partners, and governments worldwide.

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An OpenAI spokesperson affirmed their commitment to keeping the U.S. government informed due to the topic’s significance to the country’s “national priorities.”

The CEO of OpenAI also held discussions with the United Arab Emirates National Security Advisor, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed al Nahyan.

According to insiders, the UAE could play a pivotal role with U.S. government approval.

Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank, and representatives from chip fabrication firms such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, have reportedly engaged in discussions with Altman regarding his project.

An individual familiar with the matter disclosed that Microsoft — a majority stakeholder in OpenAI — is cognisant of the company’s fundraising endeavours and extends support.

In December 2023, reports surfaced indicating OpenAI’s discussions with investors contemplating investments exceeding £100 billion in the company.

Nvidia continues to dominate the market for chips used in AI computation.

Amidst a surge in AI model development over the past year, the company has reported record-breaking revenue and a valuation surpassing £1 trillion.

Meta, a prominent tech conglomerate owning social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, has recently unveiled its entry into the AI chip market.

It introduced its latest chip, “Artemis,” intending to deploy it in its data centres to enhance AI capabilities and lessen reliance on Nvidia.

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