Jony Ive and Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, are apparently working together on an unidentified “hardware device” based on artificial intelligence. This was revealed by The Information, according to which Masayoshi Son, CEO of Softbank, who in recent years has invested more than 140 billion in start-ups involved in the development of AI, may also have been involved in the project.
UPDATE: PROJECT DETAILS
Altman had already collaborated with former Apple employees in the past, in particular with the designer Thomas Meyerhoffer, whom Jony Ive himself had hired at the company in Cupertino, best known for having designed the Orb retinal scanning sphere (image below) for the project Worldcoin by Altman himself.
NOTE: Orb is a biometric imaging device created by Tools for Humanity [of which Sam Altman is co-founder and president, ed.] to provide global and equitable access to Worldcoin via the World ID protocol. It is tilted 23.5 degrees – the same degree of tilt as the Earth. […] It’s part of what Thomas Meyerhoffer, Orb’s chief designer, calls the device’s necessary universality.
Orb, a biometric imaging device designed by Thomas Meyerhoffer, a former Apple employee and hired in Cupertino by Jony Ive.
We are still in an embryonic stage, and very little is still known about this hardware object for artificial intelligence. Jony Ive and Sam Altman are reportedly discussing the design, as well as its main functions. It is not even known who will be called upon to create the device: the main suspects include OpenAI and Tools for Humanity, but third-party manufacturers cannot be ruled out either.
Jony Ive left Apple in 2019 and founded LoveForm two years later. However, the first hardware project only dates back to this year: it is a Sondek LP12 turntable costing 58,000 euros.
The hardware device that Jony Ive and Sam Altman are working on – thanks to a 1 billion dollar loan from Softbank – would be “the iPhone of artificial intelligence”. The Financial Times reports it.
The intention would, therefore, be to create a smartphone capable of exploiting the potential of OpenAI technology and capable of interacting with the user naturally, just as happened in 2007 with the advent of the first iPhone equipped with a touch screen.
The project would still be in its embryonic stage, with Jony Ive, Sam Altman, and Masayoshi Son engaged in discussions on how to imagine the device and how to create an ad hoc company capable of exploiting the know-how of the three companies involved. It could take months for the possible deal to be formalized.