Will.i.am Launches FYI, AI Powered Messenger For Creatives

Will.i.am is a multi-talented musician, producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. The musician turned entrepreneur, born Williams Adams, is a multi-faceted entertainer and creative creator who has won seven Grammy Awards. He began his career as a solo performer before joining the musical group Black Eyed Peas.

As a co-founder of the Black Eyed Peas, he became an international superstar, collaborating with chart-topping musicians such as Britney Spears while socializing with computer pioneers such as Google cofounder Larry Page.

Along the way, he reinvented himself as a tech entrepreneur, despite the fact that technology had always been a part of his life. Raised in the crime-ridden areas of Los Angeles by a strong mother, he was fascinated to technology at a young age. As a result, while in high school, he specialized in science, engineering, and mathematics.

However, after dealing with ADD and signing with his first music company at the age of 17, he dropped out of school, according to Forbes. His focus is currently on advancing robotics, artificial intelligence, and technology.

In 2014, he invested £5 million ($6 million) in Music Messenger’s Series A round, followed by another £5 million investment in Shellanoo Group and a £3 million investment in Honest Dollar. He also co-founded Beats alongside Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, which was sold to Apple for $3 billion in 2014.

According to Forbes, he invested in and obtained a $4.6 million share in app-only bank Atom in 2017, and he has also invested in businesses such as the app Knock Knock and purchased stakes in ChatGPT-maker Open AI and its multibillion-dollar rivals.

He became interested in artificial intelligence in 2014. During this time, he was introduced to Viv Labs, which was cofounded by Siri engineers Adam Cheyer and Dag Kittlaus, and DeepMind, which was cofounded by Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman and was acquired by Google for approximately $500 million.

Will.i.am was encouraged by billionaire Reid Hoffman to invest in Inflection AI, a startup intending to compete with OpenAI, in 2019. He accepted the offer and, through a private investor group, acquired holdings in OpenAI, Anthropic, Runaway, and Hugging Face, all of which are now valued in the billions of dollars, according to Forbes.

“One day Reid called me and said, there’s this guy you should meet named Mustafa. I know you’re interested in AI and there’s not that many people from the industry that have the vernacular and understanding of the space. It’ll be great to have you in the fold. You should invest. I am,” he recalled in an interview with Forbes.

According to Forbes, his current business, FYI, is an AI-powered productivity software that allows creatives to collaborate and communicate on projects with digital asset management. FYI, also known as Focus Your Idea, bills itself as “the first productivity tool designed with creatives in mind.”

“So the creative community was working across six different tools up until FYI existed,” Will.i.am said to Euronews. “We were on WhatsApp. To work off WhatsApp, you need a Dropbox. If your files were too big, you need to WeTransfer. But if you can’t open it up on WhatsApp, you need to send that Wetransfer to emails, you need email, you need a calendar, and you need Zoom and then a chatGPT.

“So you need seven things for creatives to get work done remotely on a phone on fire. For FYI you just need one tool called FYI,” the rapper explained.

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