New York-based started-up Global Illumination was acquired by ChatGPT maker, OpenAI last week. Founded in 2021, Global Illumination is known for using AI to build creative tools and digital experiences through AI-powered infrastructure.
This will be the first public acquisition by OpenAI in its seven-year history. In a blog post about the move, OpenAI said of the move, “We’re very excited for the impact they’ll have here at OpenAI.” The post went on further to mention that, “The entire team has joined OpenAI to work on our core products including ChatGPT.”
Launched back in 2021, Global Illumination was founded by Thomas Dimson, Joey Flynn, and Taylor Gordon. It was also backed by venture capitalist firms such as Benchmark, Slow, and Paradigm.
The startup team has also been involved in the design and build of many products at Meta, YouTube, Google, Riot, and even Disney’s Pixar. For example, Thomas Dimson was the director of engineering at Instagram where he was part of iterating the platform’s discovery algorithms.
He was also involved in helping to start the teams that would go on to be responsible for Instagram’s Explore tab, feed, and how Stories rank. What’s also interesting about Global Illumination is that they created Biomes, a Minecraft-like open-source sandbox multiplayer MMORPG that’s built for the web.
Though it’s unclear what this means for the game, with the entire team migrating to OpenAI, it might signal that OpenAI might be interested in expanding to entertainment in the mid-future. And with the writer’s strike still ongoing, AI might end up filling some of the void.
As OpenAI’s first public acquisition, this also may be a sign that the Microsoft-backed AI company is hoping to expand its reach within the AI world. And with the acquisition of Global Illumination, where this might lead to OpenAI is quite unknown.
Though OpenAI is backed by Microsoft to the tune of billions of dollars, CEO Sam Altman reportedly told investors that the company is looking to generate 200 million in revenue in 2023. And boost that up to a billion in 2024.