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Sam Altman sought billions to fund a chip company that could rival Nvidia before he was fired, report says

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Sam Altman
Sam Altman was forced out as the CEO of OpenAI on Friday, setting into motion a weekend of chaos for the company.

  • Ex-OpenAI CEO Sam Altman reportedly sought extensive funding for a new company before he was fired.
  • Altman was fundraising to build a rival to AI chip maker Nvidia, per Bloomberg.
  • Investor talks are still in the early stages and the project is not yet formed, per the report.

Former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman had reportedly sought billions in funding for a new chip company before being ousted.

Bloomberg reported that Altman was fundraising in the Middle East for the new venture, which aimed to rival AI chip maker Nvidia.

Altmans’s goal was to provide lower-cost competition to Nvidia and reduce the costs for OpenAI running services like ChatGPT, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The project was reportedly intended to compete with AI chip giant Nvidia, which controls about 80% of the global AI chip market.

OpenAI, along with other companies investing in generative AI, has been grappling with a brutal shortage of the processors. Altman previously said OpenAI, which has relied on its partner Microsoft for the vast amounts of computing power required to run its AI models, would “never rule out” building its own AI chips.

Investor talks are still in the early stages, and the project, codenamed Tigris, is not yet formed, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

There’s no evidence the proposed project had anything to do with Altman’s ousting from OpenAI. It’s common for tech founders to work on multiple ventures simultaneously and Altman was already running several other projects alongside OpenAI.

The former CEO was also launching his eyeball-scanning crypto project, Worldcoin, and raising a VC fund for a new venture focusing on hard tech, Semafor reported.

It’s still unclear exactly why OpenAI’s board suddenly fired Altman on Friday. The new CEO of OpenAI, Emmett Shear, doesn’t seem to know why the former CEO was fired. Neither does Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, which is the biggest investor in OpenAI.

Representatives for OpenAI did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment, made outside normal working hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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