Stare into the Orb.
Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, apparently has more up his sleeve than bringing about the AI apocalypse.
As the Financial Times reports, Altman is in advanced talks to secure around $100 million for Worldcoin, another of his ventures.
Worldcoin's promise is hazy at best, but seems to involve scanning everybody's eye and giving them some amount of crypto. The project's verbiage invokes OpenAI's vision of powerful automation that will lead to an era of plenty, promising it will usher in a "path to AI-funded UBI."
That may sound ambitious to the point of science fiction, but given the ongoing crypto crisis, it's surprising to see investors willing to put any serious money into a blockchain venture — or at the very least, demonstrates the buzz around everything Altman touches.
Founded in 2019 and made public in 2021, Worldcoin has kept a pretty low profile compared to OpenAI, particularly since the launch of ChatGPT. But it's nevertheless captured the attention of investors, three people familiar with the fundraising told the FT.
As outlandish as the whole idea sounds, it's apparently gaining at least some steam. Fortune reported in March that roughly 40,000 people are getting their irises scanned with the company's orb-shaped device per week, totaling around 1.4 million registrants globally at the time.
Of course, that's only a minuscule trickle compared to the 8 billion people on the planet, and reporting by BuzzFeed News found last year that some of those who have signed up so far have said they felt "robbed" by the experience.
Long story short, we're not entirely convinced by this also-ran Altman experiment. But he proved all the haters wrong with ChatGPT, and it's certainly worth noting that he's managing to raise any funds at all for a crypto venture these days.
"It’s a bear market, a crypto winter," one of the FT's sources told it. "It’s remarkable for a project in this space to get this amount of investment."
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