Ex-Apple Design Chief, OpenAI CEO in Talks for AI Hardware: Report

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Jony Ive, former Chief Design Officer at Apple, are reportedly discussing a potential collaboration on an as-yet-undefined artificial intelligence hardware device, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke to The Information.

The exact nature and purpose of the hardware device remain unknown.

The sources indicate that Altman and Ive, who are personal friends, have been deliberating on what “new hardware for the AI age could look like.” It is unclear at this time whether OpenAI or a third-party manufacturer will produce the device, or even if the project will come to fruition.

Could Ive be taking a stab at his own version of something similar to the Apple Vision Pro?

Altman has previously collaborated with former Apple designers. Thomas Meyerhoffer, Jony Ive’s first hire at Apple, designed a retina-scanning device called Orb for Altman’s Worldcoin cryptocurrency initiative. The Orb was developed by Tools for Humanity, a company co-founded by Altman in 2019 where he serves as chairman.

The OpenAI CEO is also a significant investor in Humane, a startup co-founded by ex-Apple employees. Humane is currently developing a wearable AI device intended to replace smartphones and is integrating technology from OpenAI, reports The Verge.

Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank and a heavy investor in AI startups, is also said to be part of the discussions between Altman and Ive. Son, who has invested over $140 billion in AI-related startups, has expressed intentions of making SoftBank “the investment company for the AI revolution,” although it’s not yet confirmed whether he will continue to be involved in Altman and Ive’s project.

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