In diverging from its partner, Microsoft, OpenAI is considering building its own AI chips to power ChatGPT, according to a report from Reuters.

The Information has also reported that Microsoft is trying to reduce its reliance on OpenAI by developing its own in-house large language models.

AI chips such as Nvidia’s H100 are the most valuable resource in tech right now, as they are crucial for training the large language models that power the likes of ChatGPT.

The decision to build AI chips stems from a shortage of the previous technology behind the AI revolution. The mad dash to acquire as many as possible has led to a global shortage, with many tech giants like Meta and Microsoft now seeking to develop their own chips as a result.

The Reuters report also states that OpenAI has even discussed acquiring a chipmaker to help with what would be an enormously expensive and time-consuming process.

“OpenAI’s potential move into hardware and building its own AI chips comes as no surprise,” Alex White, General Manager at AI startup SambaNova systems, told Insider.

“It’s well known there’s a shortage of Nvidia’s AI chips, and this is undoubtedly hurting OpenAI’s scaling ambitions. But designing and manufacturing chips doesn’t happen overnight, it requires huge levels of expertise, and resources that are in increasingly short supply.

It took OpenAI over five years to develop GPT-4. I wouldn’t be surprised if hardware took a similar amount of time.”

Microsoft invested $10 billion in OpenAI at the start of 2023. The company has provided OpenAI with the enormous computing power needed to train its AI models. In 2020, Microsoft built the startup a huge supercomputer that uses 10,000 advanced Nvidia GPUs. In return, it has been able to integrate OpenAI’s models into its own products, such as Bing.
However, several anonymous sources have reported that Microsoft has instructed researchers to build smaller and cheaper alternatives to OpenAI’s GPT models after growing concern over the spiraling cost of more expensive models like ChatGPT.

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