SoftBank CEO is planning a $100b AI chip project

Billionaire CEO and cofounder of SoftBank, Masayoshi Son, plans to raise $100b for an AI chip manufacturing project to compete with NVIDIA.

Son named the new venture Izanagi, after the Japanese god of creation and life.  Son said he wanted to be the architect of “what Mankind’s future will and should be” and that the “AI Revolution” was something in which SoftBank wanted to play a leading role.

AI processing relies on huge amounts of chips and there are severe supply shortages, with market leader NVIDIA struggling to keep up with demand. SoftBank owns 90% of British chip manufacturer Arm and plans to leverage this in its foray into AI chip manufacturing.

The $100b investment may see $30b coming from SoftBank and the balance from unnamed Middle Eastern investors. The US previously banned NVIDIA from supplying some companies in the Middle East due to perceived Chinese influence in the region.

The last three letters in Project Izanagi’s name are also a nod to the pursuit of AGI. Son said that based on Arm’s development roadmap, he believes that AI will eventually “have at least 10,000 times the sum total of the wisdom of the world.”

Once AI superintelligence is achieved, Son says it will be “the birth of a lifeform far beyond mankind” and that it will “solve problems mankind cannot.” Son believes progress towards this anticipated AI utopia should be accelerated by making more AI chips.

A “happier more connected world” sounds great, and investors like the idea too. SoftBank shares gained around 30% in the last two weeks, with Arm’s shares up more than 80%.

SoftBank declined to sell its stake in Arm to NVIDIA back in 2022, which now seems to have been a smart call as demand for chips keeps growing. Son previously discussed possible collaboration with Sam Altman on his trillion-dollar chip project, but there’s been no word on any firm plans to work together.

Will the super-smart, self-replicating AIs that Son envisions bring about the utopic future he envisions, or the end of our species the AI doomsayers anticipate? Either way, Son’s Izanagi project will get us there faster.

The post SoftBank CEO is planning a $100b AI chip project appeared first on DailyAI.

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