OpenAI Acquires Design Studio Global Illumination - This Week in AI

This week in AI we have stories about OpenAI’s recent acquisition, Google’s generative search, and Anthropic raising $100 million.

10 months ago   •   4 min read

By Mike Sak

This week in AI we have stories about OpenAI’s first-ever acquisition, Google’s search engine gets an AI upgrade, and Anthropic raises $100 million in a round of funding from SK.

  • OpenAI acquires AI design studio Global Illumination
  • Google Search gets a fresh AI upgrade
  • Claude AI developer Anthropic sees a major investment from SK Telecom

OpenAI Acquires AI Design Studio Global Illumination

It’s been a whirlwind year for ChatGPT creator OpenAI as the AI industry continues to take the world by storm. Earlier this week, OpenAI made the first public acquisition in its seven-year history when it acquired the AI design studio, Global Illumination

Global Illumination is a New York-based startup that builds creative tools and infrastructure. The company has a strong history in content creation and social media, as one of the founders was the director of engineering at Instagram. Since the launch of Global Illumination, the company has built projects for Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Google, and Pixar Studios. 

The most recent project from Global Illumination is an MMORPG game called Biomes. This game is an open-source sandbox platform in the vein of Minecraft. It is unclear what will come of Biomes after Global Illumination’s integration into OpenAI. 

Financial details of the deal have not been released as of the time of this writing. The only thing confirmed by both parties is that Global Illumination’s staff will all be joining OpenAI. It is expected that Global Illumination will be integrated with OpenAI’s core products which include ChatGPT. 

Key Points

  • OpenAI acquires Global Illumination with details of the deal not disclosed
  • Global Illumination is an AI digital product company that was founded in 2021
  • It is unclear as to what Global Illumination will be working on although it is believed that ChatGPT will be one of the products

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OpenAI acquires Global Illumination
The entire team has joined OpenAI.

Google Adds Generative AI to its Search Engine

Tech giant Google continues to make strides with its AI products as the company upgrades its search engine by adding generative AI functions. As of August 15th, Google introduced several new enhancements that will build on its SGE or Search Generative Experience. SGE was introduced earlier this year and provides users with AI-driven suggestions to help improve the search engine experience for users. 

With this latest update, users will be able to create an AI-generated summary of what the site is about. These summaries will provide hyperlinks and notes, making site navigation a more streamlined process. 

The product is not unlike what Microsoft has delivered with its Bing Chat service which is powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Despite Microsoft delivering Bing Chat in February, Google still holds a major advantage in terms of global search engine usage. The latest SGE update will also provide users with the ability to hover over unknown words or phrases will yield an AI-generated description or definition. 

While some figures like Elon Musk have warned against the potential power of highly-trained AI, others are concerned that products like Google’s SGE will cause our analytical skills and abilities to deteriorate. Regardless, Google continues its push into AI with its answer to Microsoft’s Bing Chat generative AI search engine.

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Anthropic Raises $100 Million Investment from SK Telecom

Claude AI developer Anthropic has received a major investment worth $100 million from Korean telecom giant SK Telecom. The Korean company’s CEO Ryu Young-sang revealed that SK Telecom is planning to leverage Anthropic’s AI platform with its own Korean language-based LLM. 

The larger picture for SK Telecom is to create a global, multi-language LLM that can be used by telecom companies around the world. This isn’t the first time that SK Telecom has invested in Anthropic as it also contributed to the latest Series C round where the company raised $450 million.

Anthropic is seen as one of the best bets to take on OpenAI in the generative AI space. Claude AI is already used by many telecom companies across multiple different markets. While it is a generative AI platform, Claude is focused more on completing corporate tasks, rather than being a generalized LLM. It is anticipated that SK Telecom’s global LLM will be used by companies that speak Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish, and German. 

Last week, Anthropic released the latest version of its platform, Claude Instant 1.2. This version has capabilities that are comparable to GPT 3.5. Claude Instant 1.2 is actually an API that can integrate Claude into a website or piece of software. It is faster and cheaper with much stronger capabilities when it comes to coding and math. 

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