Artificial Intelligence


By Lottie


August 2023

OpenAI Acquires Creative AI Startup Global Illumination


OpenAI, the organisation responsible for the widely recognised AI chatbot ChatGPT, has recently taken over Global Illumination, a New York startup using AI to pioneer creative digital tools and experiences. This marks OpenAI’s maiden acquisition in its nearly seven-year trajectory, though specific transaction details remain under wraps.

OpenAI shared its enthusiasm about the acquisition in an official blog post, stating that the entire Global Illumination team is now on board, contributing to flagship products including ChatGPT.

Co-founded by industry experts Thomas Dimson, Taylor Gordon, and Joey Flynn, Global Illumination has had its hands full with various ventures since its inception in 2021. With the support of venture capital entities like Paradigm, Benchmark, and Slow, the team has had early contributions to major platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Google, Pixar, and Riot Games. Thomas Dimson, in his role as Instagram's engineering director, played a pivotal role in refining the platform's discovery mechanisms and was central to the launch of features like the Explore tab, Stories ranking, IGTV, and more.

Among Global Illumination's recent innovations is Biomes, a web-based open-source MMORPG that parallels Minecraft. This game's direction under the new arrangement remains speculative, with expectations leaning away from an entertainment focus.

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Though previously steering clear of acquisitions, OpenAI, backed with substantial venture capital, including contributions from Microsoft, has actively funded and sponsored promising AI enterprises for years.

With ChatGPT's global acclaim, OpenAI’s expenditure reportedly soared to $540 million last year, including aggressive talent recruitment from tech giants like Google. This information comes from The Information's reports.

Despite garnering $30 million in revenue the past year, OpenAI's CEO, Sam Altman, purportedly informed stakeholders of an ambitious target: escalating this year's revenue to $200 million and eyeing $1 billion the subsequent year.

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