Former Apple design officer, Jony Ive, is reportedly teaming up with OpenAI to create a groundbreaking artificial intelligence device, with funding of over $1 billion from Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman plans to utilize Ive’s design firm LoveFrom to develop OpenAI’s first consumer device. The duo has already discussed the potential appearance of the product at Ive’s San Francisco studio. The venture was first reported by The Information.
Ive and Altman aim to create a device that offers a more natural and intuitive user experience for interacting with AI. They drew inspiration from how the original iPhone’s touchscreen technology revolutionized our interaction with mobile internet. Son is providing funding for the project and has advocated for Arm, the chip design company he has a 90% stake in, to play a central role.
Ive has previously expressed concerns about the addictive nature of smartphones. He believes that tech companies have a moral responsibility to mitigate this behavior and should consider unintended consequences when designing new products. The OpenAI project could allow Ive to develop an interactive computing device that is less reliant on screens.
Altman has experience in screenless devices through his investments in Humane, a startup founded by former Apple employees. Humane is developing a wearable AI device to replace smartphones.
The project between Altman, Ive, and Son is still in the early stages, with various ideas for the device being considered. Although no deal has been confirmed, the discussions are reported to be serious.
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