Microsoft-Backed OpenAI Acquires Start-Up Global Illumination to Work on ChatGPT, Other Core Products



OpenAI said on Wednesday it had acquired digital products company Global Illumination, in what comes as the first known acquisition by the storied artificial intelligence firm.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

“The entire (Global Illumination) team has joined OpenAI to work on our core products including ChatGPT,” OpenAI said.

New York-based Global Illumination was founded in 2021 by Thomas Dimson, Taylor Gordon and Joey Flynn, all of whom have previously worked at Meta PlatformsInstagram.

Global Illumination most recently worked on open-source technology related to online game production. Dimson is credited with drafting some of the original code for Instagram’s content ranking algorithms, according to his personal website.

Meanwhile, many workers across the US are turning to ChatGPT to help with basic tasks, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found, despite fears that have led employers such as Microsoft and Google to curb its use. Companies worldwide are considering how to best make use of ChatGPT, a chatbot program that uses generative AI to hold conversations with users and answer myriad prompts. Security firms and companies have raised concerns, however, that it could result in intellectual property and strategy leaks.

Anecdotal examples of people using ChatGPT to help with their day-to-day work including drafting emails, summarising documents, and doing preliminary research.

Some 28 percent of respondents to the online poll on artificial intelligence (AI) between July 11 and 17 said they regularly use ChatGPT at work, while only 22 percent said their employers explicitly allowed such external tools.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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