OpenAI marks its first key acquisition with AI design specialist Global Illumination


OpenAI, the company responsible for the viral AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT, has made its first public acquisition by acquiring New York-based AI design startup Global Illumination.

This acquisition marks a significant move in OpenAI’s roughly seven-year history. Although the exact terms of the deal remain undisclosed, OpenAI expressed enthusiasm for the impact Global Illumination’s design team will have on the company’s core products, particularly ChatGPT.

Global Illumination, founded in 2021 by Thomas Dimson, Taylor Gordon, and Joey Flynn, has been involved in various AI-related projects. Backed by venture capital firms such as Paradigm, Benchmark, and Slow, the startup’s team has previously contributed to products at prominent companies including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Google, Pixar, and Riot Games.

Thomas Dimson, who previously was the director of engineering at Instagram, played a crucial role in developing the platform’s discovery algorithms and initiating teams responsible for various features.

Global Illumination’s recent creation, Biomes, is an open-source, multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) similar to Minecraft. While the game’s future remains uncertain, it is expected that the team’s focus on ChatGPT at OpenAI will be far less entertainment-oriented.

OpenAI, known for its efforts in AI development and innovation, has previously supported emerging AI companies and organisations through funds and grant programs. While OpenAI’s ChatGPT gained global recognition, the company reportedly invested over $540 million in its development last year, including attracting key talent from tech giants like Google.

Why does this matter?

With OpenAI making $30 million in revenue the previous year, CEO Sam Altman’s intentions to raise that figure to $200 million this year and reach $1 billion in the following year reflect the company’s big push for commercial success.

This new acquisition is also indicative of OpenAI’s strategic efforts to expand and strengthen its position in the AI industry and this first key acquisition by the company for an AI design studio. hints at what the next stage of evolution may be for ChatGPT.