Altman’s Potential Windfall: OpenAI’s AI Chip Deal with Rain AI

December 04, 2023 – Despite the recent turmoil surrounding Sam Altman, including his dismissal and subsequent reinstatement, it appears that he stands to profit even if OpenAI continues developing ChatGPT without him.

This potential windfall is tied to an agreement that OpenAI entered into while Altman was CEO. The company signed a letter of intent to purchase AI chips from a startup called “Rain AI” for a staggering $51 million. Notably, Altman has a personal investment in Rain AI.

Reports indicate that Rain AI’s headquarters is located less than a mile from OpenAI’s San Francisco offices, and they are currently working on developing a novel NPU (Neural Processing Unit) chip aimed at replicating human brain features. According to copies of the transaction and information disclosed to investors by Rain AI earlier this year, OpenAI signed a non-binding agreement in 2019 to acquire these chips for $51 million once they hit the market.

Rain AI has disclosed that Altman personally invested over $1 million in the company (approximately ¥7.14 million RMB). Investor documents suggest that Rain AI might potentially offer its first batch of AI chips to customers as early as October next year. However, both OpenAI and Rain AI have declined to comment on this matter.

Altman has previously expressed concerns about the scarcity and staggering cost of AI chips, stating in a closed-door meeting, “The pace of AI development may hinge on new chip designs and supply chains.”

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