OpenAI and Jony Ive Seek $1Bn Funding from SoftBank for ‘AI Device’ Project
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OpenAI, alongside former Apple designer Jony Ive aim to raise over $1 billion from SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son to create a new AI device.
OpenAI is reportedly in advanced discussions with former Apple designer Jony Ive and SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son for a AI device venture. The collaboration aims to build what is being referred to as the “iPhone of artificial intelligence,” with substantial backing of over $1 billion from the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank.
OpenAI’s Sam Altman, will be collaborating with Jony Ive’s company LoveFrom for the development of OpenAI’s first consumer device.
The recent discussions, rumored to be held at Ive’s San Francisco studio, focused on creating a new consumer product revolving around OpenAI’s technology, aspiring to deliver a more natural and intuitive user experience for AI interactions. The goal echoes the revolutionary impact the iPhone had on unleashing the mass-market potential of mobile internet.
Early Design Phase
While still in the early stages of design, various ideas are under consideration. Discussions included the significant involvement of Arm, a chip designer, in which SoftBank holds a significant stake.
The collaboration aims to establish a company pulling resources from all three groups – OpenAI, LoveFrom and SoftBank, with the latter investing more than $1 billion in the venture. Although the talks are serious, no formal agreement is yet in place, and a formal announcement might take several more months.
Jony Ive, pivotal in the creation of the first iPhone, expressed concerns regarding the compulsive nature of smartphone usage. He emphasized the moral responsibility in mitigating unintended consequences, like addictive apps, brought by the iPhone.
His current partnership with OpenAI symbolizes a shift towards creating computer interactions that are less dependent on screens.
In a market saturated with smartphones, this new venture could potentially signal the next significant leap in consumer electronics. Despite the hype surrounding virtual reality headsets like Meta’s Quest and smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo, nothing has rivaled the widespread impact of the smartphone.
This new project with OpenAI and the financial backing from SoftBank could be a game-changer in the industry, leading to the development of innovative technology that transforms how users interact with AI.
ChatGPT can now browse the internet to provide you with current and authoritative information, complete with direct links to sources. It is no longer limited to data before September 2021. pic.twitter.com/pyj8a9HWkB— OpenAI (@OpenAI) September 27, 2023
Enhanced Features for Users
ChatGPT recently announced the “Browse with Bing” option in the GPT-4 interface, as per a new announcement. This new feature is initially available to Plus and Enterprise users, but OpenAI has stated its intention to make web browsing accessible to all users in the coming future, which would mean a more extensive and convenient information source for a broader audience.
The collaboration between OpenAI, Jony Ive and SoftBank may marks a significant step towards the future of AI technology, potentially bringing forth the next significant consumer device that could rival the impact of iphones and other smartphone devices.
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