The guy who designed the iPhone is reportedly talking to ChatGPT boss Sam Altman about making a new AI device

  • iPhone designer Jony Ive and ChatGPT-head Sam Altman may be building an AI product together

  • Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank, is also looped into their conversations, The Information reported.

  • It's not yet clear what the device could look like and what the leaders' involvement would entail.

Apple might have taken the smartphone spotlight with its recent iPhone 15 announcement, but a new AI-centered device backed by OpenAI's ChatGPT could one day steal the show — and it could happen with one of the fathers of Apple's iconic device.

Sam Altman, OpenAI's CEO, is reportedly in talks with Jony Ive, the designer of the iPhone, about building a new AI hardware product, two sources familiar with the matter told The Information.

The potential AI product is still shrouded in mystery. Details have yet to be revealed around what the device could look like, or if OpenAI would make the product itself, according to the report.

Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank — a major tech investor — also has been kept in the loop on the conversations about the product after he announced earlier this month that he was considering investing in OpenAI, the report says. It's not clear what role Son would play in the product's development.

OpenAI and SoftBank didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment before publication. Ive couldn't be reached.

The announcement of the potential AI hardware product comes as tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon race to build AI technology in an effort to beat OpenAI's conversational AI chatbot ChatGPT.

Since ChatGPT came out last November, people have used the bot to improve their personal lives, boost productivity at work, and even make money.

Now, the AI is about to get a whole lot more impressive. Earlier this week, OpenAI announced that ChatGPT Plus users will be able to start interacting with the chatbot by voice so they can "engage in a back-and-forth conversation" as the feature rolls out over the next two weeks.

While it's not clear what an OpenAI-backed AI hardware device would entail, the company's potential collaboration with designer Ive could be just what it needs to stay ahead of the AI curve.

For nearly 30 years, Ive led the designs for devices like the iMac, iPod,and iPad — and in May 2015, moved up the ranks to become Apple's chief design officer.

In mid-2019, Ive left Apple to start his own design company he calls LoveFrom, which is reportedly helping Ferrari design its first electric car. This year, he made what he calls the "Astra Carta" seal for King Charles III for the UK's space initiative as a symbol to promote intergalactic sustainability, The Verge reported.

Meanwhile, as for the CEO of SoftBank, Son is no stranger to ChatGPT. During his company's shareholder meeting in June, the CEO said that he was "a heavy user" of ChatGPT and admitted to chatting with ChatGPT — including Sam Altman on a similar, but less consistent basis — every day.

Years prior, Son said in a 2019 CNBC interview that he believed AI would completely change the way humans lived "within 30 years."

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