ChatGPT OpenAI logo on smartphone in conceptual Artificial intelligence futuristic background

OpenAI CEO urges South Korea to focus on chips to get ahead in AI development

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has confirmed his company’s interest in investing in South Korean startups building in the artificial intelligence (AI) industry following ChatGPT’s massive adoption.

Altman disclosed this during a tour of the country, meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and other industry stakeholders. In a conference in Seoul, Altman predicted that South Korea could stay ahead of the AI curve by increasing its semiconductor investments.

The rapid development of AI will increase the industry’s demand for processing and memory chips, given the extensive data sets to store, according to Altman. While OpenAI currently relies on Taiwanese chips, Altman hinted that the company would be pivoting to South Korean chips to meet increasing demands.

OpenAI’s CEO added that the firm is willing to invest in firms at the confluence of AI and semiconductors while exploring a collaboration with established chip-making giants like Samsung (NASDAQ: SSNLF).

“We are exploring how to increase our investment in Korean startups,” Altman said. “We are excited to meet as many as we can here today. I think this type of collaboration is essential to our work.”

South Korea ranks as the second largest manufacturer of semiconductors ahead of Japan, the U.S., and China, with over 70 fabrication plants scattered across the country. South Korean technology firm Samsung accounts for a large chunk of exported chips but with new funding, analysts predict tighter competition for the top spot.

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s generative AI platform, recorded impressive adoption metrics in South Korea as they found innovative uses for the offering in Web3 and education. Altman added that the country “adapted the service the earliest and most creatively,” prompting a visit to improve healthy AI usage.

Altman’s world tour will see him liaise with regulators from nearly 20 cities in Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America amid brewing legal issues.

OpenAI walks a tightrope

Since its launch in November 2022, ChatGPT has become history’s fastest-growing consumer software application after amassing over 100 million followers. However, the growth has been fraught with several challenges, including accusations of bias and privacy concerns.

These concerns have forced several corporations to ban its usage, including Samsung, JPMorgan (NASDAQ: JPM), and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN). There are speculations that OpenAI could exit the European Union over its incoming AI regulations, with Japan touted as a potential headquarters for the company.

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