Goldman Sachs CEO: AI Deployment Requires ‘Enormous Financing’

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon sat down with CNBC's David Faber to discuss AI, saying there are "enormous financing needs" involved in AI development and deployment....
Goldman Sachs CEO: AI Deployment Requires ‘Enormous Financing’
Written by Matt Milano
  • Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon sat down with CNBC’s David Faber to discuss AI, saying there are “enormous financing needs” involved in AI development and deployment.

    In response to Faber’s question observation about how much time Solomon spent discussing AI in the company’s recent conference call with analysts, the CEO pointed out that Goldman Sachs has been using AI, in some form or another, for the last 20 years.

    Solomon then talked about how much more powerful the technology is today, leading to significant new opportunities.

    “But what’s changed now is the power of the compute that’s available, the speed and therefore your ability to apply it in different ways,” Solomon said. “And so I think there’s an enormous productivity opportunity. There are obviously efficiency opportunities. And also, if you think about the amount of capital that’s going to be necessary to implement this, the amount of energy and power that’s going to be necessary to implement it, this is something that people are going to have to think very strategically about. And that’s something that Goldman Sachs helps our clients with. So it’s a big opportunity.”

    ‘Enormous Financing Needs’

    Faber pointed out that the deploying AI comes with enormous costs, including establishing all-new data centers and infrastructure to deal with demand. Solomon agreed, saying it put his company in a good position to help finance these endeavors.

    “We’re very early in that journey, candidly,” Solomon said. “And I think one of the things that businesses are thinking about, one of the things that governments are thinking about is where is a lot of that capacity going to be housed. When you think about certain data center capacity that we’ve used for certain things in the past, latency has been very important. But here it’s not as clear latency is important. You need land. You need access to power. You need space. You actually need a regulatory environment that can be quite constructive to the implementation of all of this. And I think we’re early in the journey. I think it’s a global issue. And it’s something we’re focused on because our clients are focused on it. And I think we’ve got an ability to help them think through these issues and ultimately, you know, help finance, you know, this buildout, which is going to be hugely important for businesses.”

    AI As a Productivity Booster

    Solomon also emphasized the role of AI within Goldman Sachs itself, pointing out the significant productivity boost it brings to the table.

    “You know, I think that the first focus for this, David, is just productivity. We are a knowledge organization,” Solomon added. “We’re a professional services firm. We have an enormous number of smart, talented people all over the world. If you give them tools that allow them to expand their capacity to focus on things that are valuable for our clients, they can actually take on more. And it’s just, it’s a silly analogy to think back to when we started. If I go back to when I started 40 years ago, it took six hours to do a common stock comparison. Now, it takes an instant. It doesn’t mean over that journey we’ve had less people focused on our clients. So productivity, the ability to take smart people, give them tools so they can do more, do more quickly, help our clients think about things in different ways, that’s where our focus lies on this at the moment. And, of course, there are efficiency opportunities, and we focus on those too.”

    AI Is Transforming a Wide Range of Industries

    Solomon’s interview highlights the wide range of industries that are being impacted and revolutionized by the rise of AI. Many think of AI primarily in context of the tech industry and the changes it can bring to development, customer service, analytics, search engines, and the like.

    As Faber and Solomon point out, the need for new and improved infrastructure represents an enormous opportunity for the financial sector to help bankroll those upgrades and expansions.

    Get the WebProNews newsletter delivered to your inbox

    Get the free daily newsletter read by decision makers

    Advertise with Us

    Ready to get started?

    Get our media kit