OpenAI’s CEO is Seeking Trillions of Dollars to Supercharge AI Chip Production
According to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal on February 8th, tech innovator Sam Altman is exploring avenues to secure funding in the range of $5 trillion to $7 trillion.
This capital infusion is intended to bolster the production of microchips, aimed at enhancing accessibility for AI and machine learning technologies.
The proposed funding will be allocated towards the establishment of new chip manufacturing facilities or the support of existing companies in the sector. Notably, Altman’s venture, OpenAI, will primarily function as a significant consumer in this endeavor, rather than a beneficiary of the funds.
Reports suggest that a substantial portion of the financing could be procured through debt financing and may entail a multi-year fundraising process.
In terms of potential investors, Altman has reportedly engaged in discussions with various entities, including SoftBank, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), and Microsoft. However, the extent of their involvement, whether as investors or in alternative capacities, remains uncertain. Additionally, sources indicate that the UAE has also been approached and could potentially participate as an investor.
Altman’s discussions on this matter have reportedly extended to meetings with US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, highlighting the necessity for government approval due to the scale of the proposed venture. Nonetheless, concerns have been raised regarding the involvement of the UAE, potentially posing regulatory challenges.
Addressing the global chip shortage is a central objective of Altman’s fundraising initiative. While the endeavor holds promise in mitigating this issue, its ambitious financial target surpasses most national debts and sovereign wealth funds. It also notably exceeds the total value of the chip industry as of the close of 2023.