Apple AI: iPhone, ChatGPT Makers Seek $1 Billion Funding to Build New Artificial Intelligence Hardware

By Madz Dizon

Apr 10, 2024 07:24 PM EDT

Apple AI: iPhone, ChatGPT Makers Seek $1 Billion Funding to Build New Artificial Intelligence Hardware(KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images) (Credit: Getty Image)

According to reports from last fall, Sam Altman and Jony Ive discussed developing the artificial intelligence (AI) version of the iPhone.

The rumors surfaced before Altman's short-lived dismissal from OpenAI as CEO.

Jony Ive, Sam Altman Seek to Create New AI Hardware

They said that Ive and Altman would not produce a smartphone and that at least $1 billion would need to be invested in the new AI hardware project.  

According to a new report in The Information, Jony Ive, a former design lead at Apple who created many of the company's most renowned products, is collaborating with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman to secure funding for a new company that would develop an artificial intelligence-powered personal device.

The exact configuration and operation of the device remain unknown. But it will not resemble current devices, according to sources who spoke with the online publication.

It comes as several other companies are currently exploring the development of hardware products that incorporate artificial intelligence capabilities. They include Humane AI pin, a wearable device that enables communication with AI, and the Rabbit R1, a compact gadget that incorporates AI technology. 

Proponents claim that artificial intelligence will introduce innovative methods of device interaction, potentially eliminating the need for screens. Users can easily hail a cab without the need for a map or pressing buttons. Instead, they can simply ask a virtual assistant to do it for them.

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New Venture's Potential Investors

Ive and Altman are currently engaged in discussions with various investors, such as Thrive Capital, known for their investment in OpenAI, and another investment firm founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, the esteemed founder and president of Emerson Collective and the late Steve Jobs' widow. 

There have been previous suggestions that SoftBank might also contribute to funding the new venture, according to BGR.

Jony Ive departed from Apple in 2019, although he maintained his involvement with the company for a period thereafter.

Rumors are circulating that Apple is making significant investments in artificial intelligence, potentially leading to new AI-powered capabilities being unveiled at this summer's Worldwide Developers Conference. These developments could potentially position the company's new device as a rival to the iPhone.

READ MORE: Germany: Art Museum Fires Worker for Hanging His Own Painting in Exhibition in Bid to Make Breakthrough 

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