Apple’s former design guru Jony Ive is reported to be in talks with prominent AI startup OpenAI to create what’s being dubbed as “the iPhone of artificial intelligence.” And if you think that sounds like pie in the sky, then take note: The project could be bankrolled to the tune of $1 billion by Japanese tech giant SoftBank.
OpenAI, the startup behind the trailblazing ChatGPT chatbot, is in advanced talks with Ive and SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son about the potential project, according to a Financial Times report on Thursday.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has his sights set on creating the company’s first consumer device, according to several sources who shared details with the FT. A similar report also appeared in The Information this week.
In a sign of how serious Altman and Ive are about exploring the project, the pair have reportedly met at Ive’s San Francisco design studio to brainstorm ideas for the device.
While there’s little information about what form the device might take and what it might do, the suggestion appears to be that it would offer an intuitive way of interacting with AI, with grand ambitions to mirror the iPhone’s success in bringing mobile computing to the masses.
SoftBank’s Son has also been talking to Altman and Ive about the possibility of creating a company to work on developing the device, and while the FT describes the discussions as “serious,” no deal to proceed has yet been inked.
With smartphone innovation slowing after 16 years of astonishing development, it’s hardly surprising that visionaries like Altman and Ive are bringing their own unique talents to the table to discuss ideas for what could turn out to be the next big thing.
Their talks might come to nothing for now, but with generative AI technology developing fast, many will be wondering if the pair just might be onto something.