iPhone of AI: Sam Altman and former Apple chief designer Jony Ive want $1 billion for ‘revolutionary’ project

 In a groundbreaking collaboration, former Apple design guru Jony Ive and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman are spearheading efforts to birth the “iPhone of AI.” Reports suggest that the duo is on the hunt for a staggering $1 billion in funding, marking a pivotal step in their quest to redefine personal technology.

According to sources cited by The Information, the yet-to-be-named startup is courting major venture capitalists, including heavyweights like Thrive Capital and Emerson Collective. This move underscores the industry’s anticipation surrounding the project, hinting at its potential to disrupt the tech landscape.

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Details regarding the nature of the AI device remain shrouded in secrecy, with insiders hinting that it won’t resemble conventional smartphones. Altman, a notable backer of the screenless Humane AI pin, is speculated to be exploring similar avenues alongside Ive, adding another layer of intrigue to their collaboration.

A Visionary Interface

Drawing inspiration from the revolutionary impact of the first iPhone, Ive and Altman are said to be focused on crafting an interface that seamlessly integrates artificial intelligence into everyday life. Their vision echoes the transformative power of touchscreens, hinting at a paradigm shift in how we interact with technology.

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SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has reportedly joined discussions, proposing the involvement of Arm, the chip designer under SoftBank’s umbrella. Talks of a potential new company leveraging the strengths of each party have surfaced, although no concrete agreements have been reached yet.

Talent Acquisition and Conceptualisation

For Ive, whose departure from Apple in 2019 marked the end of an era, this venture signals a bold new chapter. The prospect of competing with his former employer, particularly in the realm of AI and machine learning, adds an extra layer of intrigue to the unfolding narrative.

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To fortify their ranks, Tang Tan, former design chief for iPhone and Apple Watch, has been recruited into Ive’s fold. Tan’s expertise in hardware design, honed during his tenure at Apple, will play a crucial role in shaping the aesthetics of forthcoming products, including the enigmatic AI device.

While the project is still in its nascent stages, with an emphasis on talent acquisition and conceptualisation, murmurs of home-focused devices powered by OpenAI software have begun to surface. However, the road to market readiness is a long and arduous one, suggesting that eager consumers may need to exercise patience before the fruits of Altman and Ive’s labour materialise.

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