Sam Altman, CEO of Artificial Intelligence Research Lab named OpenAI, has made an ambitious plan worth trillions of dollars. On Thursday evening, The Wall Street Journal reported that Altman is looking for a major project to significantly expand its global semiconductor manufacturing capacity to meet growing demand for AI chips.
The Eye-Popping Price Tag
Altman’s effort could require a massive $5 trillion to $7 trillion increase in investment, according to sources cited by The Journal. Trillion OpenAI did not respond with a yes, “t” to a request to comment on the reported figures.
If true, it would be one of the largest and most expensive plans in history aimed at quickly transforming a major industry. In recent startup ideas, Altman aims to build more chip manufacturing plants (in industry parlance, “fabs”) along with expanded energy and data center infrastructure to power the next generation of AI systems.
A Global Supply Chain Bottleneck
Steroids say the world urgently needs far more advanced semiconductor capacity than tech companies can provide over the next decade. “The world needs more AI infrastructure—fab capacity, energy, datacenters, etc.—than people are currently planning to build,” Altman said in a tweet on Wednesday.
He believes that large-scale investment in AI infrastructure and geographically diverse supply chains is “critical to economic competitiveness”. OpenAI and other major AI developers are looking for more specialized chips to educate and run their sophisticated large language models. Are in search. But there are not enough places to visit right now.
Nvidia’s AI Chip Dominance
Silicon Valley chip maker Nvidia buys nearly 70% market share for AI semiconductors used for the recently viral ChatGPT and other natural language applications, such as power systems.
Nvidia’s data center revenue grew by nearly $14.51 billion last quarter. But the company is struggling to keep pace due to the complexity of AI models and insatiable demand from researchers. Altman apparently wants to inspire his rival to help narrow the supply-demand gap that could hamper AI development.
Geopolitical and Economic Impacts
If Altman succeeds in raising trillions of rupees in investment from backers such as sovereign wealth funds and entire governments, it could alter the technological balance of power between countries in the coming decades. People who can make more advanced AI chips domestically will gain both wealth and innovation.
Political leaders in Washington and Brussels will certainly consider Altman’s unique plan because of the impact it may have on technology’s changing society. This could force a renewed debate on domestic chip subsidies and incentives for Western countries to open more semiconductor foundries.
Stay tuned, as this important overarching idea is constantly changing!