OpenAI has acquired screen-sharing and collaboration software company Multi, the New York-based startup announced on Tuesday. The news comes less than a week after the AI giant announced it had acquired analytics database provider Rockset.

“Recently, we’ve been asking ourselves how we should work with computers. Not on or using, but truly with computers. With AI,” the company wrote. “We think it’s one of the most important product questions of our time.”

OpenAI declined to comment on the Multi acquisition when contacted by Decrypt, but according to a report by VentureBeat, a source close to OpenAI confirmed the deal.

Launched in 2019 as Remotion, Multi developed screen-sharing and collaboration software for the Mac, allowing up to 10 people to simultaneously work on a project and describing its approach as “multiplayer.” However, as a result of the acquisition, the startup said it is shutting down its service and will delete all user data by July 24.


According to the company, the Multi team will join OpenAI, and specifically will work on the ChatGPT application for desktop computers. In fact, Multi co-founder Alexander Embiricos has already encouraged ChatGPT users to send him feedback and bug reports on Twitter.

“So much to say, but what matters most?” he tweeted. “Talking to users and shipping.”


The Multi announcement came the same day OpenAI announced that its ChatGPT desktop app for Mac was now widely available—provided users have the latest operating system running on Apple Silicon chips.

Even though Multi made clear that its own application was being sunset, its announcement on Twitter was met with speculation over what ChatGPT would be able to do with access to the screen-sharing and collaborative editing features their product provided. OpenAI noted that the current ChatGPT app for Mac already allows users to “chat about email, screenshots, and anything on your screen.”

Giving AI tools access to everything on a computer screen has been flagged as a privacy and security concern, however.

In May, Microsoft faced swift backlash after it released its Recall software for its Copilot+ PC that would take periodic screenshots of the user's computer screen and index the contents to be looked up later. Following an uproar over privacy and security concerns, Microsoft announced it would pull back its planned release, which will now be opt-in and limited to beta testers.

OpenAI has faced frequent criticism over its rapid development and alleged oversights related to safety. Exiled whistleblower Edward Snowden blasted OpenAI in June for adding a former director of the U.S. National Security Agency, General Paul Nakasone, former head of the National Security Agency (NSA), to its board of directors.

"They've gone full mask-off: Do not ever trust OpenAI or its products (ChatGPT etc). There is only one reason for appointing an NSA director to your board,” Snowden wrote on Twitter at the time. “This is a willful, calculated betrayal of the rights of every person on Earth. You have been warned."

The Multi acquisition comes a little over a month after OpenAI engineer Javier “Javi” Soto tweeted that “we’re hiring for amazing macOS and Windows engineers.”


Multi did not immediately respond to comment requests by Decrypt.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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