Ex-Apple execs’ startup raises $100 million and partners with OpenAI
Humane Inc., a startup founded by former Apple executives, announced it has raised $100 million in the latest round of investments and has partnered with OpenAI — the creator of the widely popular ChatGPT tool.
In a news release, the company said the latest round of investments was led by Kindred Ventures which included significant participation from SK Networks, Microsoft, LG Technology Ventures, and Volvo Cars’ Tech Fund, among others.
Humane Inc. was founded and is operated by husband and wife duo Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, who both served as directors of Apple’s human interface team and operating system until their departure in 2016.
The duo shared on Wednesday that it will collaborate with OpenAI to integrate its artificial intelligence (AI) technology into Humane devices to provide their service at a larger scale to customers.
Sam Altman, the founder of OpenAI, was one of the few early investors to join the new round of financing for Humane.
“Our first device will enable people to bring AI with them everywhere. It’s an exciting time, and we’ve been focused on how to build the platform and device that can fully harness the true power and potential of this technology,” Chaudhri said in a statement, noting that he’s “extremely proud” to work with partners and collaborators on his new startup.
“We are at the beginning of the next era of compute, and believe that together we can begin the journey to fundamentally reshape the role of technology in people’s lives,” Chaudhri added.
The news comes as Microsoft announced earlier this year that its new premium messaging service, Teams Premium, will be powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot. The company also announced it will invest billions of dollars in OpenAI as part of a third phase of a partnership between the two companies.
ChatGPT — which launched in November — is a free tool that automatically generates human-like reponses to user’s queries in a way that is more advanced than previous technology.
The new innovative technology has raised the concerns from many parents and educators recently, with some saying that students could use that ChatGPT platform to cheat on assignments. Schools in New York City and Seattle have since banned the tool over those concerns.
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