Talking Chips

Abu Dhabi’s new AI investment firm MGX in talks with Altman

The OpenAI Co-founder and CEO is seeking trillions of dollars to fund a chip-making business

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI (Photo: Getty Images)

A phosphate rock production site at the Maaden Aluminium Factory in Ras Al-Khair Industrial area near Jubail City, Saudi Arabia. (Photo: Getty Images)

This week, Abu Dhabi launched AI investment company MGX with the ambition of building up $100 billion in assets under management within a few years, which would make it one of the biggest AI-focused investors in the world.

Now, the brand new firm – with founding partners Mubadala and the UAE’s flagship artificial intelligence company G42 – is in early talks with Sam Altman to invest in his multi-trillion-dollar chip venture, the Financial Times reports.

A quick timeline of Sam Altman in the UAE: In June of last year while on a global speaking tour, he charmed a crowd in Abu Dhabi when he noted that the emirate has been talking about AI “since before it was cool.”

Four months later, G42 announced a partnership with Altman’s OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, to scale up the availability of generative AI tools in the Middle East in sectors where it already has clients, like financial services, healthcare and energy.

Last month, Altman suggested the UAE could lead the formation of a global AI watchdog, speaking to UAE Minister of AI Omar Al Olama via video link during the World Governments Summit in Dubai.

The FT’s report today follows earlier headlines that the OpenAI Co-founder and CEO is seeking trillions of dollars to fund a chip-making business with the aim of reducing dependence on other manufacturers like Nvidia.

That would provide the vast computing power necessary to bring OpenAI’s biggest ambitions for generative AI to bear.

Al Olama told the FT that he also sees Elon Musk, who founded xAI last year, bringing some of his own business to the UAE.

“I don’t think it’s far out for him (Musk) to do something here,” Al Olama said, adding that “the economics are going to dictate what he and others do here.”

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