A new report from The Information has revealed discussions between Jony Ive, former Apple design chief, and Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, regarding the development of a novel AI hardware device. These high-level talks also involved SoftBank CEO and prominent investor, Masayoshi Son.
While the specifics of Ive’s ongoing involvement remain uncertain, it’s known that he currently oversees his British design firm, LoveFrom. Details about the potential AI device are scarce, but the mutual discussions between Ive and Altman are centered around envisioning the next generation of hardware in the AI era.
Sam Altman has a significant investment footprint in the consumer hardware startup, Humane, co-founded by ex-Apple staffers Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno. This innovative startup aims to design a screenless wearable. This device, guided by voice commands and gestures, is envisioned to project information onto nearby surfaces. Crucially, there’s a plan to incorporate OpenAI’s technology into this device.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT has notably disrupted the tech scene since its public launch. The Microsoft-backed startup’s staggering annual revenue of over $1 billion is primarily attributed to ChatGPT subscriptions and access to its sophisticated successor, GPT-4. The success trajectory continued with the release of the official ChatGPT app for Apple devices in May 2023.
Apple’s commitment to artificial intelligence is underscored by its substantial investments in this domain.
Although Apple’s “Foundational Models” team, a unit focused on conversational AI, reportedly comprises merely 16 members, the tech giant is said to be investing millions daily to refine its language models.