ChatGPT’s OpenAI needs $7 trillion to continue AI development


sam altman side profile on top of blue openai background

Sam Altman, the current CEO of OpenAI, has given a ballpark figure of anywhere between $5 and $7 Trillion as the requirement for the AI chips of the future. Altman who has returned as CEO after his recent firing has already set some gargantuan goals for the company and the global AI industry.

In a bid to reshape the semiconductor industry, Sam Altman now looks towards UAE as the potential new hotspot for semiconductor chips, specifically curated for use in technology that uses AI. While no company or country will have $7 Trillion lying around, Altman hopes to gradually invest that amount into the production of these new AI chips to ensure a steady supply for future growth in the AI sector.

Global chip sales were at $527 billion last year and with an investment of this level, you could look to expand and upscale the entire industry. Sam Altman is looking at UAE as a potential government investor which means there are other countries that OpenAI is in talks with that could serve as a base of operations for this project.

The chips in question are essentially just GPUs, whose high-end processing capabilities are required to train large language models such as ChatGPT and Google's Gemini. This GPU bottleneck has been a frequent point of discussion for Sam Altman, who now seeks to take matters into his own hands.

Altman took to X and released a series of statements discussing this issue:

“The world needs more AI infrastructure--fab capacity, energy, datacenters, etc--than people are currently planning to build,”

He continued

“Building massive-scale AI infrastructure, and a resilient supply chain, is crucial to economic competitiveness.”

At this rate, we could see the rise of a new global centre for chip production that could replace Taiwan. UAE is one of many potential locations. Other reports suggest that Altman would prefer building these AI chip production facilities within the US due to the Biden administration's investment in the technology and OpenAI's close ties with Microsoft.

However, this plan is not without its criticisms and detractors. Many have complained about the exorbitant sum mentioned along with the energy requirements.

Grady Booch, one of the designers for some of the most critical programming methods and systems in use today, took to X to criticize the infrastructure needed for this project.

While the sum seems ludicrous, it's not impossible, and with an investment of this size, it would signal that global economies and mega corporations are going all-in on the idea of AI advancement.

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