Former Apple design chief Jony Ive and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman are reportedly in talks to collaborate on a new AI device that could redefine the future of hardware. The details of the project are still unknown, but the involvement of Ive, who is known for his iconic designs of products like the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, has sparked curiosity and speculation among tech enthusiasts.
A mysterious AI device
According to The Information, Ive and Altman, who are friends, have been discussing what “new hardware for the AI age could look like.” It is unclear if the device will be an OpenAI product, a device produced by a different company, or even if the device will actually happen at all.
Some sources suggest that the device could be a smartphone that relies heavily on generative AI, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which can create realistic text and images based on user input. Others think that the device could be something else entirely, such as a wearable device, a smart speaker, or a virtual reality headset.
One possibility is that OpenAI is building its own operating system that could generate apps in real-time based on what it believes its user needs, or one that listens to nearby conversations and automatically pulls up relevant information for its user.
A history of collaboration
This is not the first time that Altman has partnered with former Apple designers on new hardware. Thomas Meyerhoffer, who was Ive’s first hire at Apple and worked alongside him on projects like the iMac, designed the spherical retina-scanning Orb for Altman’s Worldcoin crypto project. Orb was developed by Tools for Humanity, a company that Altman co-founded in 2019 and serves as the company’s chairman.
Altman is also one of the biggest investors in Humane, a hardware and software startup company co-founded by ex-Apple employees, which is developing a wearable AI device that is designed to replace smartphones. Humane is collaborating with OpenAI to integrate the AI company’s technology into the device.
A potential game-changer
Adding a twist to the saga is the involvement of Masayoshi Son, the CEO of Japanese multinational investment company SoftBank. Son, who has invested more than $140 billion into AI-related startups, has also reportedly been in talks with Ive and Altman about the idea. His future role in the project remains uncertain.
Son, who once was the richest man in the world, has said that he wants to make SoftBank “the investment company for the AI revolution.” He has backed companies like Uber, WeWork, and Alibaba, as well as robotics and biotech firms.
If the project materializes, it could be a game-changer for the AI industry, as well as for the consumers who are looking for new and innovative ways to interact with technology. Ive and Altman are both visionaries in their respective fields, and their collaboration could result in a device that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also functionally powerful and intelligent.