OpenAI and Jony Ive in Talks to Raise $1 Billion to Create ‘iPhone of Artificial Intelligence’

The ChatGPT company and former Apple designer are in “serious” discussions with Japan’s SoftBank

OpenAI Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman speaks during an event at Keio University on June 12, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan. Altman discussed with students at the event hosted by one of Japan's leading private universities as he expressed his intentions to open an office and broaden services in the country. (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

ChatGPT maker OpenAI and former Apple designer Jony Ive are in advanced talks with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son to create the “iPhone of artificial intelligence,” with hopes to raise $1 billion in funding from the Japanese financial institution.

The Financial Times first reported the news. According to the report, OpenAI chief Sam Altman has tapped Ive’s company LoveFrom to develop the ChatGPT creator’s first consumer device.

Discussions have been described as “serious,” but no deal has arrived yet. It’s expected to take several months before a venture is formally agreed upon.

Ive is known for leading the design of the iPhone. He also designed the candy-colored iMacs that brought Apple back from the brink of death in the 1990s. He was a close creative collaborator with Apple’s cofounder Steve Jobs and worked for more than 20 years at the tech company.

Ive left Apple in 2019 to form LoveFrom, a design firm he cofounded with fellow designer Marc Newson. The creative collective serves clients like Ferrari and Airbnb.

Altman, Ive and Son have discussed the creation of a company that would combine talent and technology from their three teams.

Ive and Altman have been in deep discussions to build an AI hardware device, The Information reported Tuesday. Son has lightly participated in the conversation.

OpenAI’s creation of ChatGPT spurred the AI race between companies like Alphabet and Microsoft to begin their own funding and ventures in the artificial intelligence space.

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