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OpenAI in Talks to Raise $1 Billion for AI Device Offering

Jony Ive, Apple’s former chief designer, reportedly met with OpenAI and SoftBank to raise funds for the venture

Ben Wodecki

September 29, 2023

1 Min Read
Sam Altman, OpenAI CEO
Getty Images

At a Glance

  • OpenAI CEO Sam Altman met with Jony Ive, Apple's former chief designer, and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, according to the FT.
  • The trio want to raise $1 billion to develop AI hardware that is as intuitive to use as the iPhone.
  • SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is trying to get them to use chips designed by Arm, where it has a 90% stake.

OpenAI is in talks with Apple's former design chief and SoftBank to raise $1 billion to develop an AI consumer device that redefines the way users interact with computers.

According to FT, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is in “advanced talks” with Sir Jony Ive about launching a venture to build a device that is as intuitive to use as the iPhone, with SoftBank looking to financially back the project.

The device also would lessen users' addiction to screens because they would interact with it differently. Ive had told the FT in 2018 that Apple had a "moral responsibility" to mitigate the addictive nature of its devices.

Since leaving Apple in 2019, Ive has set up the design company LoveFrom. The FT reports that Altman met Ive at his San Francisco studio to discuss the product, with OpenAI’s AI tech expected to power the device.

OpenAI, Ive and Son's discussions are serious, but it could be months before any venture could be announced. SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son is reportedly angling for its chip company Arm to have a central role. SoftBank retains a 90% stake in Arm even after its recent IPO.

The news comes as OpenAI announced a new way to interact with ChatGPT. Users are now able to use images and voice to interact with the chatbot.

Read more about:

ChatGPT / Generative AI

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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