OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT have acquired Global Illumination, a digital-product company based in New York with the entire team joining OpenAI to work on core products including ChatGPT.
Announcing the acquisition, OpenAI said in a blog post, “The team [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.” It further adds, “We’re very excited for the impact they’ll have here at OpenAI.”
According to OpenAI, Global Illumination leverages AI to build creative tools, infrastructure, and digital experiences.
Global Illumination was founded by former Instagram employees: Thomas Dimson, Taylor Gordon, and Joey Flynn and according to the company’s website, it is made up of senior contributors in Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google, and Riot Games among other top companies. The company recently worked on Biomes, an open-source Minecraft clone built for the web.
Thomas Dimson, one of the co-founders in a LinkedIn post confirmed that the rest of the founding team will also be joining OpenAI. According to his website, he worked on Instagram’s content ranking algorithm. He wrote in the post, “A little news from our end — Global Illumination been acquired by OpenAI! Much of my life has been spent working in consumer applications of AI and it’s clear that we are at an inflection point.”
Notably, this is the first known acquisition by OpenAI. However, the financial details have not been revealed. It comes at a time when there are reports of AI research and developoment company going bankrupt if it continues with the current cash burn rate. A report by AIM cites declining users, competition from Meta’s Open Source alternative Llama as well as other AI companies, lawsuits and increasing losses as contributing factors for the projection.