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OpenAI wants to raise $7 trillion to clear AI semiconductor bottlenecks

OpenAI wants to raise $7 trillion to clear AI semiconductor bottlenecks

Various artificial intelligence (AI) – in the colloquial sense – chatbots have been considered to have passed the Turing test for more than a decade. Perhaps the most famous of these – Eugene Goostman – was developed by a Russian-Ukrainian team in Saint Petersburg, Russia, already in 2001.

Despite this long history, few platforms made a splash as large as the launch of OpenAI’s flagship platform – ChatGPT – which was officially launched at the tail-end of November 2022.

Given ChatGPT’s highly advanced capabilities, the impact it already has in society, and the hundreds of billions invested in similar projects like Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Bard, Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Copilot, and X’s GrokAI, hardly come as a surprise. 

The development of such large language models has already sent the stocks of major infrastructure providers – such as Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) on the hardware side and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft for cloud services – surging to new highs with analyst forecasting even greater upsides in the coming months.

Despite all the work already done – or, perhaps, because of it – Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, believes the sector still needs unprecedented investments – to the tune of $5 to $7 trillion – to achieve its full potential.

Sam Altman hopes to raise $7 trillion for AI infrastructure

Primarily hoping to tackle AI development bottlenecks originating in the semiconductor industry, Altman first reached out to the government of the United Arab Emirates and a list of other investors hoping to raise trillions of dollars worth for the sector-reshaping effort, per a WSJ report from February 8.

OpenAI’s CEO also took to X to express his belief that the AI industry needs better infrastructure, particularly regarding production capacity, energy, and data centers:

we believe the world needs more ai infrastructure–fab capacity, energy, datacenters, etc–than people are currently planning to build.

building massive-scale ai infrastructure, and a resilient supply chain, is crucial to economic competitiveness.

openai will try to help!

The effort, which seeks to raise up to $7 trillion, would constitute one of the largest non-government projects on record and would be comparable only to drives like John Jacob Astor’s – America’s first multi-millionaire’s – attempts to create a continent-spanning fur trade empire, Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage to Mecca which saw such an influx of gold that it allegedly plunged the region into hyperinflation, or Caesar’s conquest of Gaul – funded by personal wealth and loans as it was considered an illegal war by the Senate.

Would such an investment be worth it?

While a $7 trillion investment to reshape global production and supply chains to better suit the AI industry would be immense, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that the returns on such an investment would be immense.

Many experts believe that the technology, given enough time and resources to advance, could have incalculable effects on the human condition as a whole, not just on businesses.

Indeed, as reported in early 2023 by Finbold, experts expect artificial intelligence to become a multi-trillion dollar sector within the next five years, and even the more moderate forecasts see generative AI booming to over $100 billion by 2028.

Many firms are already flocking to the sector, hoping to benefit from the boom with South Korean firms, for example, actively raising funds to challenge Nvidia’s dominance when it comes to AI microchip production, with hopes being for the technology giant Samsung (KRX: 005930) being particularly high.

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