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🍟 Altman set to raise $10B to build AI chip factories

💡 Entrepreneur Strategist—The AI Tool Report GPT

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🌤️ This Morning on AI Tool Report

  1. 🍟 Altman set to raise $10B to build AI chip factories

  2. 📑 Ex-OpenAI chief-of-staff suspended over presidential candidate chatbot

  3. 💵 Musk denies AI start-up has raised $500M of $1B goal

  4. 🦄 VoiceAI start-up gains unicorn status after raising $80M

  5. 🚗 Google’s Waymo to expand driverless cars to LA

Read Time: 5 minutes

FINANCE

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AI HARDWARE

Our Report: Altman is in talks with global investors to raise over $8B to set up a global network of chip fabrication plants to combat the supply/demand issues surrounding AI chip production.

🔑 Key Points:

  • Altman is in talks with Abu Dhabi-based G42, SoftBank Group Corp, and others to raise the capital needed and is reportedly focused on raising between $8 and $10B.

  • The fundraising push comes as forecasts for AI-chip production fall short of projected demand. Furthermore, chip leaders—including Intel, Samsung, and Microsoft—are in the running to partner with the OpenAI team for this.

  • Construction of the semiconductor factories needed to build AI chips requires extensive capital to build and maintain (a process so expensive that even Amazon, Google & Microsoft hire third parties to maintain this process).

🤨 Why you should care: Due to a lack of production capacity, chip production companies can’t make enough chips to meet demand. Fortunately, Altman's plans could assist in balancing supply/demand, allowing AI projects to continue at pace.

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REGULATIONS

  • Matt Krisiloff (former OpenAI chief-of-staff, now working at DelphiAI) developed a ChatGPT-powered chatbot (DeanBot) that impersonated Democratic presidential candidate—Dean Phillips—to support his political campaign.

  • Before using it, website visitors were shown a warning describing the nature of the chatbot and requesting consent for its use, and users would chat with DeanBot who would engage and encourage them to spread the Dean’s message.

  • Krisiloff has been suspended from OpenAI’s platform for going against its policies, which include building chatbots for political campaigning and lobbying.

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FUNDING
  • Musk has denied reports that his AI start-up (xAI) has secured $500M in investment (halfway towards its $1B goal), after BloomBerg falsely reported the opposite.

  • However, last December Musk had publicly stated that xAI was not raising any funds, but upon further inspection by US securities regulators, xAI has publicly filed to raise $1B.

  • Currently, xAI is discussing a valuation of between $15B – $20B, with some parties in the new investment round vying for computing power in addition to, or instead of, xAI equity shares.

STARTUPS
  • ElevenLabs (a start-up that develops AI-generated voices in different languages, with accents and emotions) gained unicorn status after raising $80M in Series B funding—led by A16z, Sequoia Captial, and others.

  • The 2-year-old start-up is now rumored to be valued at $1.1B, (an increase from its former $100M valuation), reflecting expectations for a surge in the adoption of AI voice generation by gaming giants and movie studios.

  • ElevenLabs’s current customer base includes Storytel, Paradox Interactive, and The Washington Post; however, they continue to run into regulatory issues as users utilize the technology to impersonate others without their strict consent.

AUTOMOTIVE
  • Waymo (Alphabet's autonomous driving unit) has applied to the California Public Utilities Commission for a license to operate in LA, which would allow Waymo to expand its driverless fleet (currently only operating in SF).

  • Additionally, Waymo is testing its autonomous passenger cars on freeways in Arizona and is planning to operate in Texas (despite extensive regulatory scrutiny).

  • Specifically, following a driverless car accident last year—which saw GM’s Cruise driverless car unit stop all supervised and manual car rides—many autonomous vehicle companies have had to adhere to stricter regulations.

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Until next time, Martin & Liam.

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