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Sam Altman Is Raising Trillions to Reshape AI As We Know It

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OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is trying to raise as much as $5-$7 trillion to reshape AI.

The money would fund a project to boost the world’s chip-building capacity and AI infrastructure, reports The Wall Street Journal. And investors could include parties like the government of the United Arab Emirates.

For context into just how much money this is: The entire global semiconductor industry sold $526 billion worth of chips in 2023, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

What’s going on here?

On Episode 83 of The Artificial Intelligence Show, I got the scoop from Marketing AI Institute founder/CEO Paul Roetzer.

Chips Power the Age of AI

Today’s generative AI capabilities wouldn’t be possible without chips. And most of those chips come from chips designed by Nvidia and fabricated in Taiwan. There has been a large effort to diversify chip-building away from a handful of countries and companies, but it is slow going. 

There’s a bigger backstory to why Altman is trying to address this problem. (Chip Wars by Chris Miller is a fantastic read on the geopolitics involved in the semiconductor industry.)

Altman, OpenAI Are Betting AI Gets Way More Capable in the Next Decade

And addressing this problem requires a very big long-term vision. Altman and OpenAI are 

looking ahead 7-10 years and anticipating what AI will be capable of—and what will be required to power those capabilities, says Roetzer. 

“They’re obviously envisioning a world where we need way more ability to build chips. We need significantly greater clean energy. And we need a lot more data centers.”

And They Believe General Intelligence Is Possible

It remains to be seen if Altman will actually raise trillions. We don’t know much right now and the reports haven’t been confirmed by OpenAI.

But this is worth paying attention to, says Roetzer. That’s because it indicates where Altman and OpenAI see AI going: 

“They appear to believe that with more data, more energy capacity, and more chips (plus a scientific breakthrough or two) they can achieve their mission of AGI (and superintelligence).”

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