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OpenAI CEO Sam Altman Reportedly Pitches $7 Trillion AI Funding Project

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is reportedly pitching a multitrillion dollar artificial intelligence project to investors.

Altman is in discussions with backers that include the government of the United Arab Emirates to raise funds for an initiative that would increase the planet’s chip-building capabilities and artificial intelligence (AI) powering abilities, a recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report said.

The WSJ cites sources familiar with the matter, one of whom said Altman’s vision of reducing the scarcity of AI chips used to train large language models (LLMs) could mean raising between $5 trillion to $7 trillion.

The report also notes the uphill battle facing Altman: The amount of money in question would eclipse the current global semiconductor market, which is projected to become a $1 trillion business by the end of the decade. 

Such a figure would be “outlandishly large” by the standards of corporate fundraising and more than the national debt of some major world economies. A $7 trillion fundraising would be more than the combined market capitalizations of Apple and Microsoft.

PYMNTS examined the rapid rise in demand for generative AI tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT last week in a conversation with Andy Hock, senior vice president of product and strategy at AI accelerator company Cerebras.

“The ChatGPT light bulb went off in everybody’s head, and it brought artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art deep learning into the public discourse,” Hock told PYMNTS during a conversation for the “AI Effect” series.

“And from an enterprise standpoint, a light bulb went off in the heads of many Fortune 1000 CIOs and CTOs, too,” he added. “These generative models do things like simulate time series data. They can classify the languages and documents for applications, say, in finance and legal. They can also be used in broad domains to do things like help researchers develop new pharmaceutical therapies or better understand electronic health records and predict health outcomes from particular treatments.”

News of OpenAI’s apparent plans come as the company reportedly surpassed $2 billion in annualized revenue late last year, a milestone that puts the company among the ranks of tech giants like Google and Meta as one of the fastest-growing firms in history.