Apple’s Former Jony Ive in Talks to Create ‘iPhone of AI’: Report

OpenAI is reportedly in advanced discussions with former Apple designer Jony Ive and SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son to develop what is being termed as the “iPhone of artificial intelligence.”

The venture is expected to be backed by more than $1 billion in funding from SoftBank, according to people familiar with the matter, reports The Financial Times.

Yesterday, a report from The Information provided similar details, but now we’re hearing some more specifics.

Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI which is behind popular AI chatbot ChatGPT, has engaged Ive’s design firm LoveFrom to work on OpenAI’s first consumer device. Brainstorming sessions have taken place at Ive’s San Francisco studio to discuss the design and functionality of a new consumer product centred on OpenAI’s technology. The aim is to offer a more natural and intuitive user experience for AI interactions, similar to how the iPhone revolutionized touchscreen computing.

The discussions are described as “serious,” but no formal agreement has been reached. It could be several months before an official announcement is made, and any resulting hardware product is likely to take years to develop.

Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of SoftBank, has also participated in discussions and proposed a significant role for Arm, a chip designer in which SoftBank holds a 90% stake. The venture is expected to pool talent and technology from OpenAI, LoveFrom, and SoftBank, with SoftBank investing over $1 billion.

The project presents an opportunity to develop a new way of interacting with computers that is less screen-dependent, aligning with Ive’s previous concerns about the addictive nature of smartphones.

This development comes in the same week that OpenAI announced upgrades to its ChatGPT chatbot, including voice control and web browsing capabilities. OpenAI, backed by Microsoft, is also reportedly considering a share sale that could value the company at as much as $90 billion.

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