OpenAI’s Sam Altman seeking trillions of dollars for chips, AI initiative: WSJ

BENGALURU – OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman is in talks with investors, including the United Arab Emirates, to raise funds for a tech initiative to boost the world’s chip-building capacity and expand its ability to power artificial intelligence (AI), among other things, the Wall Street Journal reported on Feb 8.

The project could require raising as much as US$5 trillion (S$6.7 trillion) to US$7 trillion, the report added, citing people familiar with the matter.

OpenAI and its biggest investor Microsoft did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Mr Altman’s fund-raising plans are aimed at solving constraints to OpenAI’s growth, including the scarcity of AI chips required to train large language models behind systems such as ChatGPT, the WSJ reported.

The Semiconductor Industry Association has forecast a 13.1 per cent jump in global chip sales to US$595.3 billion in 2024, compared with a drop of about 8 per cent in sales in 2023.

The amounts Mr Altman has discussed are outlandishly large by the standards of corporate fund raising, the report added.

Investors have valued OpenAI at more than US$80 billion.

As part of the talks, Mr Altman is pitching a partnership between OpenAI, investors, chipmakers and power providers, which together would put up money to build chip foundries that would then be run by chipmakers, the report said, adding that much of the effort could be funded by debt and the discussions are in its early stages. REUTERS

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