ChatGPT creator working on mystery AI device with iPhone designer, report claims

More than $1 billion has already been pledged towards the venture between Jony Ive and OpenAI

Anthony Cuthbertson
Thursday 28 September 2023 16:33 BST
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<p>The first ever iPhone on display at MacWorld on 10 January, 2007 in San Francisco, California </p>

The first ever iPhone on display at MacWorld on 10 January, 2007 in San Francisco, California

OpenAI, the company behind the viral AI chatbot ChatGPT, is reportedly in talks with renowned Apple designer Jony Ive to create an artificial intelligence device.

The venture, which also involves SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son, aims to build the “iPhone of artificial intelligence”, according to the Financial Times.

Several brainstorming sessions between Mr Ive and OpenAI boss Sam Altman have already taken place, while Japanese tech giant SoftBank is said to have pledged more than $1 billion towards the project.

Few details are given about what form the device might take, with possibilities ranging from a standalone ChatGPT-enabled smart speaker, to headphones that allow wearers to interface directly with the AI bot.

Mr Ive left Apple in 2019 after 27 years at the company to form his own design company, called LoveForm, which is involved in the latest collaboration.

Alongside the iPhone, Mr Ive played a crucial role in designing other Apple products like the iPad, iPod and MacBook. His latest creation is likely to forego a screen, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Independent has reached out to OpenAI for comment.

Reports of the partnership emerged in the same week that OpenAI announced that ChatGPT now has direct access to the internet, as well as the ability to “see, hear and speak”.

The addition of voice and image recognition tools gives the generative AI similar capabilities to virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.

The internet connectivity feature also brings it in line with other leading AI tools like Google’s Bard.

“ChatGPT can now browse the internet to provide you with current and authoritative information, complete with direct links to sources,” OpenAI announced on Wednesday.

“It is no longer limited to data before September 2021. Browsing is particularly useful for tasks that require up-to-date information, such as helping you with technical research, trying to choose a bike, or planning a vacation.”

Meta also announced the launch of several new chatbots this week, with chief executive Mark Zuckerberg saying the AI bots will come with different personalities based on real people.

The chatbots will work through Meta’s apps, which include Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.

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