OpenAI acquires AI startup Global Illumination

OpenAI has announced the first acquisition in the company's history, with the team at Global Illumination to work on the ChatGPT creator's core products

OpenAI has announced its first acquisition in its history, in the form of New York-based startup Global Illumination.

Founded by Thomas Dimson, Taylor Gordon, and Joey Flynn, the team at Global Illumination previously designed and built products early on at Instagram and Facebook and have also made significant contributions at YouTube, Google, Pixar, Riot Games, and other notable companies.

“The entire team has joined OpenAI to work on our core products including ChatGPT,” OpenAI said in a short statement. Global Illumination is a company that has been leveraging AI to build creative tools, infrastructure, and digital experiences. 

“We’re very excited for the impact they’ll have here at OpenAI.”

OpenAI: from startup to AI pioneer

Elon Musk, Sam Altman and other investors announced the formation of OpenAI in October 2015. With its founding, the organisation stated it would "freely collaborate" with other institutions and researchers by making its patents and research open to the public.

In June 2020, OpenAI announced GPT-3, a language model trained on trillions of words from the Internet. The company also announced that an associated API, named simply "the API", would form the heart of its first commercial product. 

The company’s release of ChatGPT last year has rapidly accelerated interest in generative AI, with the tool capable of interacting conversationally, answering follow-up questions, admitting its mistakes, challenging incorrect premises, and rejecting inappropriate requests. 

Following previous investments in 2019 and 2021, in January Microsoft announced a multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI, intended to accelerate AI breakthroughs.

The agreement extended the two companies' ongoing collaboration across AI supercomputing and research.

In March OpenAI announced the launch of GPT-4, the latest iteration in its deep learning model, which it says ‘exhibits human-level performance’ on various professional and academic benchmarks from the US bar exam to SAT school exams.

Following this, in June the company said its first international expansion would come in the opening of a new office in London. The San Francisco-based company said its new teams in London would focus on advancing OpenAI’s leading-edge research and engineering capabilities.

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