Following the current turmoil at OpenAI, new reporting has delivered to gentle a 2019 settlement between OpenAI and Rain AI, an AI-chip manufacturing startup. In line with WIRED, which first reported this information, the letter of intent reviewed contains OpenAI’s non-binding dedication to buy $51 million value of AI chips from Rain AI as soon as developed. Sam Altman, who had personally invested over $1 million in Rain AI, was overseeing OpenAI on the time.
Unnamed sources allegedly advised WIRED that Altman’s private pursuits with numerous initiatives all through Silicon Valley and the distractions they may trigger performed a task in his dramatic ouster late final month.
Rain AI, situated close to OpenAI’s headquarters in San Francisco, is creating what it calls neuromorphic processing models (NPUs) designed to imitate the human mind. The deal, signed in 2019, was a part of OpenAI’s efforts to safe superior know-how for its AI initiatives, regardless of Altman’s private funding in Rain AI elevating issues about his entangled pursuits.
Based in 2017, Rain AI goals to revolutionize AI improvement with its NPUs, claiming to supply considerably extra computing energy and power effectivity than conventional GPUs. The startup, which Altman supported in its early levels, now contains a workforce of specialists in each AI algorithm improvement and conventional chip design.
Rain AI’s preliminary chips, based mostly on the RISC-V open-source structure, goal edge units like telephones, drones, vehicles, and robots. The corporate’s purpose is to offer chips able to each coaching machine algorithms and working them post-deployment, a major development in AI chip know-how.
Safety issues and CFIUS scrutiny of Rain AI
Rain AI’s improvement of NPUs, promising important enhancements in computing energy and power effectivity, has been a topic of curiosity for OpenAI. Nonetheless, Rain AI’s funding and funding background have raised safety issues. The U.S. Committee on International Funding (CFIUS) intervened when Prosperity7 Ventures, a Saudi Arabia-affiliated fund, invested in Rain AI. CFIUS’s involvement led to the fund being mandated to divest its stake in Rain AI, reflecting the nationwide safety dangers related to international investments in crucial know-how sectors.
This divestment, together with a reshuffling of Rain AI’s management, may probably delay the startup’s progress in bringing its novel chip know-how to market. Such a delay may affect OpenAI’s capability to make the most of Rain AI’s know-how for its AI initiatives.
Rain AI’s funding, totaling $33 million as of April 2022, has been ample for its operations by early 2025. Nonetheless, the compelled divestment from Prosperity7 Ventures and the next acquisition of shares by Silicon Valley-based Grep VC have added complexity to Rain AI’s journey.
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