Jony Ive and OpenAI's Potential AI Device
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Jony Ive, the renowned ex-Apple design lead, and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman are reportedly discussing the design of a mysterious AI device, as revealed by The Information. The exact nature of this device remains uncertain, but the tech community is buzzing with speculations, from a generative AI-powered smartphone to entirely new hardware.
This scoop by The Information, which was later covered by other media outlets like The Verge and Reuters, is scant on specific details. The ambiguity surrounding whether this proposed device would be an OpenAI product or if it even materializes has led to rampant speculation.
The Information's Jessica Lessin and Stephanie Palazzolo suggest that with Ive's involvement, the project could very well be a consumer device like an innovative smartphone. They added, "Imagine an AI-driven operating system that can instantly create apps tailored to its user’s needs or provide real-time, relevant information based on surrounding conversations."
Yet, former Microsoft Windows Division President, Steven Sinofsky, voiced his skepticism about it being a smartphone on the social media platform X, highlighting the challenges of distributing such a device.
Currently, OpenAI is primarily recognized for its AI assistant, ChatGPT. On the other hand, Ive, who was the design force behind Apple's flagship products, departed Apple in 2019 to start his own design consulting firm, LoveFrom.
Interestingly, Ive and Altman share a personal rapport, and this isn't Altman’s first rendezvous with Apple's design veterans. Thomas Meyerhoffer, Apple's recruit by Ive, was the brains behind the retina-scanning Orb for Altman’s Worldcoin project.
Further fueling the speculation is Masayoshi Son, SoftBank's CEO, known for investing heavily in AI ventures. Reports suggest he's in discussions with Ive and Altman, though his exact role is yet to be determined.
While the device's actuality remains under wraps, the anticipation is palpable. However, should an "OpenAI phone" indeed materialize, it's evident it would find takers. Thomas Ricouard, a Medium iOS engineer, remarked on X, "If OpenAI launched a phone with ChatGPT at its heart, I'd switch immediately. Our present-gen assistants just don't measure up."
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