OpenAI, the organization behind ChatGPT and the GPT-4 large language model (LLM), has acquired Global Illumination, a New York-based startup known for leveraging AI in the creation of innovative tools, infrastructure, and digital experiences. The move marks OpenAI's first public acquisition since its inception.
Global Illumination: A Provider For Big-Techs
Founded by Thomas Dimson, Taylor Gordon, and Joey Flynn, Global Illumination has been involved in various projects since its establishment in 2021. The company has a history of designing and developing products for major tech companies such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Google, Pixar, and Riot Games. Notably, Thomas Dimson, during his tenure as the director of engineering at Instagram, played a pivotal role in refining the platform's discovery algorithms.
Recent Projects and Future Implications
One of Global Illumination's recent ventures is “Biomes”, an open-source sandbox MMORPG built for the web, bearing visual similarities to the popular Microsoft-owned game Minecraft. The future direction of this game post-acquisition remains uncertain.
According to an official announcement by OpenAI, the entire team from Global Illumination has now integrated with OpenAI to contribute to its core products, including ChatGPT. OpenAI expressed its anticipation regarding the potential impact this talented team could bring to their ongoing and future projects.
While the specific terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, OpenAI's move is seen in the broader context of its commercial aspirations. Despite the global recognition of ChatGPT, OpenAI reportedly invested over $540 million last year in its development. The organization generated $30 million in revenue last year, with ambitious plans to increase this figure substantially in the coming years.
To get there, OpenAI might need some time, however. The company is now losing over $500 million per year, and some even say it could go bankrupt by the end of 2024 if it doesn't find a way to turn a profit. Thanks to a recent investment from Microsoft of about $10 billion, OpenAI should have enough cash for the nearby future.