OpenAI, Jony Ive, SoftBank in ‘serious’ discussions about AI device

SoftBank reportedly offered an over $1 billion USD investment in the venture

OpenAI’s Sam Altman, former Apple designer Jony Ive, and SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son are reportedly in “serious” discussions to launch a venture to build the “iPhone of artificial intelligence.”

The details come from a new Financial Times report building on The Information’s previous reporting on potential hardware plans from Altman, Ive, and Son — you can read more about that here.

The Financial Times report builds on previous reporting and cites three people familiar with the plan. It noted that Altman tapped Ive’s company LoveFrom, which Ive founded after leaving Apple, to develop OpenAI’s first consumer device. Altman and Ive reportedly held brainstorming sessions about what a consumer AI product would look like at LoveFrom’s San Francisco studio.

The report says the duo wanted to create a natural and intuitive user experience for interacting with AI. However, they reportedly remain at an early stage with various ideas on the table.

Moreover, the Financial Times reports that Son is not just involved in discussions but offering financial backing and pitching a central role for Arm, in which SoftBank holds a 90 percent stake. In fact, SoftBank is reportedly investing over $1 billion USD (about $1.35 billion CAD) in the venture.

Again, the discussions are early, and the groups haven’t reached any sort of deal. If something does come from the discussions, we’re likely months away from an announcement and potentially years from a product launch.

Header image credit: Shutterstock

Source: Financial Times