Chamath Palihapitiya: I spent 1½ years trying to find the people who made Google's A.I. chip

Venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya told CNBC on Thursday that one of his big bets on artificial intelligence is an investment in a company founded by former Google employees who made an AI chip while they were working at the search giant.

The Social Capital founder and CEO said it all started about 2½ years ago, when he was listening to a Google earnings call. "They randomly mentioned they built their own chip for AI. I thought, 'What is going on here? Why is Google competing with Intel?" he recalled in an interview on "Squawk Box."

"It took us a year and a half to find the group of people who did that. But we were able to take them out. And we have eight of the 10 original people that built that chip building the next generation chip now," said Palihapitiya, who had been one of the original members of Facebook's management team. He's currently a co-owner of the NBA's Golden State Warriors.

Palihapitiya called the chip they're working on "revolutionary on every dimension," adding it has the potential to "empower companies like Facebook and Amazon, Tesla [and] government to do things with machine learning and computers that nobody could do before."

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