We are just on the cusp of the big changes that AI-based tools like ChatGPT will bring to our lives. However, the developer of the chatbot, OpenAI, does not seem to be planning to stop there. As reported by TechEu, an OpenAI startup fund with the participation of Tiger Global and a number of Norwegian investors, led an investment round of $23.5 million in the company 1X Technologies, which creates humanoid robots.
With the funding, 1X, formerly known as Halodi Robotics, plans to begin production of the NEO bipedal android, which it has been working on for nine years and is expected to announce in the summer of 2023. In addition, the funding will also go towards expanding production in Norway and North America of 1X’s first Android – EVE.
“1X is thrilled to have OpenAI lead this round because we’re aligned in our missions: thoughtfully integrating emerging technology into people’s daily lives. With the support of our investors, we will continue to make significant strides in the field of robotics and augment the global labor market,” says Bernt Øyvind Børnich, CEO and founder of 1X Technologies.
Børnich also emphasized the peculiarity of using androids in the real world:
“Deploying our wheeled android EVE at an unprecedented commercial scale gives us a unique understanding of the challenges and opportunities the robotics community has yet to address. If androids are going to work in our world, they need to experience our world,” he said.
According to the vision of OpenAI itself, 1X robots, like ChatGPT, will affect the labor market and be able to improve labor productivity.
“1X is at the forefront of augmenting labor through the use of safe, advanced technologies in robotics,” said the company’s COO and manager of the OpenAI Startup Fund, Brad Lightcap.
The investment in 1X Technologies does not yet mean that OpenAI expects to replace humans in enterprises with robots in the near future, but it is safe to say that such developments will accelerate, including due to the use of such large language models as ChatGPT.