SoftBank, the global investment bank, is considering making investments in artificial intelligence (AI) following the success of its Arm unit’s listing. According to the Financial Times, SoftBank is also exploring a potential investment in OpenAI.
Reports suggest that SoftBank is actively seeking AI companies to invest in and is willing to spend tens of billions of dollars in the sector. The bank has even made a preliminary approach to acquire Graphcore, a UK-based AI chipmaker. However, Graphcore has denied receiving any offer from SoftBank, and the bank has declined to comment on the matter.
In addition to its AI investments, SoftBank is planning to form a partnership with OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT. SoftBank founder, Masayoshi Son, has expressed his excitement about AI technology and has described himself as a “heavy user” of ChatGPT. Son also frequently interacts with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.
SoftBank’s recent success in its IPO, securing a $54.5 billion valuation, has allowed the company to regain its confidence and shift its stance to “offence mode” in terms of AI investments. Earlier this year, SoftBank recorded a surprise loss but has since returned to making new investments, thanks to the positive performance of its Vision Fund.
It is worth noting that SoftBank has been in “defence mode” since May 2022, as tech valuations plummeted due to rising interest rates and concerns in the global banking sector.
In conclusion, SoftBank’s interest in making investments in artificial intelligence demonstrates its commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements. With the success of its Arm unit and potential partnerships with OpenAI, SoftBank is determined to capitalize on the potential of AI and contribute to its further development.