Sunday, May 26

OpenAI and Jony Ive are in discussions with SoftBank to raise $1 billion for their AI device project.

The Financial Times said on Thursday that ChatGPT maker OpenAI is in advanced talks with former Apple designer Jony Ive and SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son to produce the “iPhone of artificial intelligence” with more than US$1 billion (RM4.7 billion) in funding from the Japanese company.

According to the article, Ive’s company LoveFrom has been hired by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman to create the ChatGPT creator’s first consumer product.

There have reportedly been “serious” discussions, but no contract has been reached, and it may take months before a venture is officially revealed, according to the story. Son, Altman, and Ive have also reportedly discussed starting a business that would combine their three firms’ expertise and technological advancements.

SoftBank chose not to respond to the FT report. A request for comment from Reuters was not immediately answered by OpenAI. No one could be reached to comment on Ive or LoveFrom.

Web technology Ive and Altman have been talking about creating a new AI hardware gadget, and Softbank’s Son has been involved in some portions of the dialogue, according to a report published by The Information on Tuesday.

Ive and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs worked closely together on creative projects. He worked for the computer company for more than two decades and oversaw the creation of both the iPhone and the candy-colored iMacs that helped Apple recover from its 1990s near-death experience.

The FT reported earlier this month that Son was planning to invest tens of billions of dollars in the technology and that SoftBank has been exploring for deals in AI, including a prospective investment in OpenAI.

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